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

Garden to Shelf!!!

As you may know by now, I have a thing for growing and preserving food, to say the least! This past gardening season was no different than the previous ones except that I grew my food with more intention. I took notes over the last two years of all the things I bought that I actually had growing in my garden and that I could stock my own selves with, and there were a lot of items! I saw that with a bit more work (or a lot!) I could shop less, use less packaging, and eat even more organically directly from my garden.

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I have already shared a few items, such as my Rose Hip Skin Oil and my Fresh Garden Tea; today I will share my All Spice Blend that includes dehydrated tomatoes, lemon balm, sage, oregano, parsley, hot peppers, and lavender. This blend can be used on basically everything you wish – even though I recommend you keep it for savory dishes! – and you are welcome to adjust it to please your taste buds and, of course, depending on what is growing in your garden. Herb gardens are the best because you can pick your herbs fresh when the weather permits and preserve them to use in many different ways from tea, spices, oils, and tinctures.

So the recipe is very simple. I use a food processor to grind equal parts of each herb then toss in a bowl so they’re evenly mixed and voilà!!! My organic, simple All Spice Blend straight from my garden!!!

Please Vote for Spring Fever!!!

I have submitted!!! And now that I’ve done my part, it’s time for you to do yours!!! What have I submitted for? Good question… so here is a little explanation: John Fluevog recently put out a call to their fans to submit a design for their spring campaign. And if you know me at all, you know that I love a challenge and I love shoes so I had no choice but to create a piece to submit. I have worn and collected Fluevog shoes since I was 13 years old; in fact, I still have a clear memory of the very first pair I bought, as well as every single pair I bought ever since.

Here is my piece!

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Spring Fever by Laura Balducci

I called it “Spring Fever” and created it using acrylic paint, collage, and a hand-embroidered outline of their beautiful shoe Attic Bianca. So I am asking all my friends and followers for your help (yes I am being shameless) as there is a public vote happening. Please follow the link and vote by giving a “thumbs up” (hopefully for my design… winkwinkwink) You can vote once  and I would really appreciate a moment of your day and as many shares as you feel to make an artist and shoe lover’s dream come true! Thank you so very much from the bottom of my Fluevog heart! xoxo

Fluevog Creative Design Submissions

Weekly Photo Challenge – Transformation

There has been some Transformation to our bathtub and boat vegetable garden beds!!! After a seriously good harvest season that went until mid-November, the beds are now totally asleep for the winter. Mulched with rabbit droppings, dead leaves, and a final layer of seaweed that will completely yet slowly break down over the next few months to create fertilizer and soil just in time to start planting again in mid Spring. Sleep well little beds and dream of plump produce!

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But What Is Your Passion?

I have been a working artist for over 30 years in the hair, make up and fashion styling industry and have just recently retired!!! And I loved my profession – so now what???

Since I moved to Cortes Island six years ago, I’ve had the chance to dabble in many mediums of art which led to the creation of five solo art installations and my participation in many group shows, combining the different techniques I have learned over the years. You can view all my exhibitions and shows on my website. I’ve had so much fun and accomplished many goals during this time in my life – these include a group show in Europe, the making of  a CD and touring with my band The Abbie Hoffman Society, the recording of a sound track to go with one of my art installations and a whole lot of art dolls, and one that even came alive… It’s been a a great ride!!!

So the question is what is my new burning passion now that I am not styling hair anymore? Creating Art… Obviously!!! So where do I go with it? I have been pondering this question for a few months. I love colour theory, knitting, dying fiber, and creating lots of art, which makes the idea of working in Fiber and Textile Art a no-brainer for me and the central focus of where I am putting my energy. Creating Wearable Art!!!

I have started on this path, as many of you know, but I have decided to continue exploring this exciting medium in the new year by creating more wearable art. This means experimenting with fiber and textile art, learning to spin yarn as well as focusing my concepts on making wearable items that follow the colour theory I have used all throughout my career. In my past work, I used the palettes of the seasons: fall, winter, autumn, and  spring. My new collection of work is thus aptly called “four seasons” and includes hand-knitted scarves, chokers/collars, and silk scarves that have been painted with natural dyes and Cida acid dyes. I am creating four items for each of the four seasons – so a one-of-a-kind and limited edition.

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I will have a few items at The Gorge Christmas Bazaar alongside another new item, greeting cards of my art dolls, as well as some of my original art pieces, and my art book “My Stuffies’ Secret Life”. I am excited to share my new and past art in a few different formats, which includes craft fairs, pop-up shops, and a soon to come online store! So come and see me at the Bazaar and may the celebrations begin! xoxo

 

What Season are You?

When we think of the seasons, we usually think of the calendar and the different phases of the year, but did you know that every human is also a season!?! As a retired hair, make-up and fashion stylist much of my work has been geared around this theory. From hair to make-up to wardrobe, choosing the right colours for your skin tone is key to completing an overall look that suits you best.

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Winter

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Autumn

 

 

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Summer

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Spring

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As of late, I have been focusing my creativity on making wearable art and combining my past trade experience to my current art projects. Most of the work I am doing at the moment consists of knitting and painting on silk – all dyed naturally or by using Ciba Washfast acid dye. I am also learning to spin yarn which I will be dying soon…. and using in my wearable art, of course!

So, do you know which season you are? I will be touching on this subject at greater length in the weeks to come to help you figure it out by giving you a guideline based on your skin tone. As you know, helping people look their best is something I am very passionate about! I wanted to start on this topic by gathering the colour charts above to give you some examples of the palettes that suits each season best. As you can see, there is a broad spectrum to choose from for each season. So which season are you most attracted to? It will be fun to see if this is the one that suits you best! I am also using this colour theory to create a collection of wearable art aptly called “Four Seasons”. And I am working towards launching a store on my website in early 2018 where you will be able to view and purchase my work. So stay tuned!!! xoxo