Earth Day – Every Day

I think it’s great that we take one day a year to celebrate Earth Day, but I think we can all do better than that and do our part Every Day!!! There is so much more that every single one of us can do on a daily basis to make things better on our beautiful planet. This includes the obvious such as “reduce, reuse, and recycle”. Today, I would like to share my thoughts on this very important topic.

Unfortunately the obvious 3 R’s are not enough and this being proven a little more every day. There are other key things that we can each put into practice which are really not that difficult to achieve, considering the impact they have.

The first thing I would like to mention is part of the “reduce” but it involves choices that are not made by everyone and it involves reducing our carbon footprint. My suggestion is to carpool wherever and whenever possible – this just takes a bit of networking and planning. Another option is to walk more and/or ride a bicycle (we could all use more time outside, more exercise, and some fresh air). Another thing is to grow our own food. There is no doubt it is a healthier choice for our body and soul, it eliminates plastic and packaging and also less pesticides. And since we are what we eat, it would be a good thing to care about what we put in your body! Now I do believe there is some limits here depending on where people live, but here is a case of “thinking inside the box” because it is easy to create a garden in even the most restricted spaces by using boxes or pots, and even a herb garden on a window sill brings down our packaging (which means less plastic) and has many health benefits – fresh herbs are filled with nutrients!

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Another one of my favourite ways to do my part is to not support “fast fashion” or disposable items. This means thinking about where we put our money. And it’s really no that hard to do. Here are some questions you can ask yourself: Do these items define who you are? (NO). Do you really need them? (NO). Fast fashion equals slave labour, pollution, and a ton of waste that ends up in landfills. It also mans cheap goods that break down in the laundry and barely last one season. The alternative is to buy quality clothing that is well-made, and to choose timeless pieces that never go out of style, that you can store appropriately for each season to enjoy for decades to come. Another option is to buy recycled and upcycled clothes.

And now for a biggie and a no-brainer: disposable items! This includes getting a new TV every couple years or just having to have the latest smart phone! When appliances are concerned, buying a cheap version means they will break down as soon as the warranty wears out instead of lasting for years like they could. Other habits to watch for include buying new and unnecessary house items for one season which are mostly made of plastic, as well as such items as swiffer mops, coffee pods, disposable diapers and cloths, unrecycled toilet paper and paper towels, non-biodegradable soaps and detergents, and any of the things that give us a quick fix of instant gratification that will just end up tossed in some landfill, and that we never needed in the first place, or for which sustainable, and environmentally-friendly alternatives exist.

These are just a few thoughts that I think everyone of us can put more in to practice, and this goes for me too. Let’s all work together to help create the Earth we want for the future. I believe if we all do just a little more than the obvious, and make a conscious decision to think before we buy, as well enlist the help of our friends and family to make this choice together and keep each other in check, these few simple changes can make a big difference. Of course there are many other ways but for now I will leave this for the curious mind…

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Weekly Photo Challenge – Awakening

Spring is in full force, with all the flowers and seeds Awakening from their winter slumber and their colours bursting Open. I have to say it’s a pretty inspiring time of year! I love watching all the action and the surprises that appear a little more each day. One of the things I love about planting perennial flowering bulbs is that they reproduce yearly with more foliage, depending on where I planted them; some comes up in bunches and others in spots I had not imagined a flower would be. Tulips are one of my all time favourites, maybe because they are some of the first ones to unfold from their cocoon of leaves. But don’t get me wrong, I love all plants. I wish everyone a wonderful gardening season…

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Weekly Photo Challenge – Smile

Billie was the second dog I ever had in my adult like (so not counting my family dogs). I rescued her when she was 3 years old from a very abusive situation. I had her for an amazing 13 years and she was a totally amazing dog – in fact even people who were not “dog people” loved her. She also was the first dog I ever had who actually smiled – and yes, this is her smiling! She smiled a lot and often, and I like to think it was one of the many ways she used to show me how much she appreciated being rescued. I loved her so much and miss her dearly. She is forever in my heart and now rests in peace after a long and wonderful life. xoxo ❤️img_8732

The Art of Growing Food

There’s something to be said about growing your own food. And that something is, “Do it”!!!

To me, growing a vegetable garden is a form of art. It is a well-known adage that “we are what we eat” and that we are all walking canvases. I also have as soft spot for yard art and let’s not forget that when we cook, all our wonderful produce becomes part of our culinary art… So when you put it all together, growing food is indeed an art form!

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It is also one of the ways in which I contribute and give to my family, since the more food we grow the less we need to buy, and the more money we save. Growing your food also saves the planet by bypassing any need for packaging and no gas is used to bring it to your home, and of course you know where your food came from and the love that went into producing it.

 

My process starts with the seeds; some of which I have collected from the previous year and some I buy from a trusted source. Then my man preps the garden beds, and then when the soil – which we build and nourish throughout the year – is thawed and the weather is warm enough, the garden gets planted. All of this is very exciting to me as I love to watch everything grow as I water it throughout spring and summer. By the time fall comes around, all the preserves have to be done and the shelves and freezer get stocked… total gratification is how it feels. I hope to encourage everyone, no matter what size of space you have to give it a try, whether you live in an apartment, have a patio herb garden, a backyard garden or, like us, a farm. The picture above is the seeds I have recently planted; they include lettuce, peas, basil, zucchini, cucumber, tomatoes, watermelon, and cantaloupe… and there is so much more on the way. Stay tuned to watch my garden grow!!! xoxo

365 Day Challenge

Here is some progress on my “Wink” project, which consists of reading a Tarot card every morning, doing research to learn about that card and then drawing a sketch based on that inspiration (and the whole series is also based on my well-used cup cozy). At the end of the year, I’ll be putting all the pieces together to create a solo art installation for 2019. As it implies, the project is growing daily as I am continually learning and having fun with the discipline it takes to commit to doing something every day.

Over the past 3 months, I have been inspired to bring the whole concept one step further and create a Contemporary Art Tarot Deck with accompanying guidebook, which will go on sale in 2019. I have a lot of work ahead of me to accomplish this but I am enjoying every step of this creative venture. Look out for my Daily Tarot page on my website starting end of April, where you will be able to shuffle a 3-card spread, or a card of the day, as well as book a Tarot reading via email. For now, I will share another four pages of my sketch book. Stay tuned and watch it grow! Xoxo Laura

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Bon Voyage!

On March 3rd, I will be off to San Miguel in Costa Rica for my first trip in a long time with my best friend to celebrate our birthdays!!! We will be attending a retreat in a tropical paradise, facilitated by Six Petals Retreat (check out their website!)

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Continuing with my goal to become the healthiest version of myself, I am embarking on a well-earned Pilates retreat and my physical health in sunny, tropical Costa Rica! Of course I will be keeping up with my daily art practice based on my morning tarot reading and the ensuing sketch. There is much to look forward to and I’ll share when I get home as there is no internet service so no screen time – another perk of the retreat is to take time out! But trust me, I’ll be taking lots of photos. In the meantime, I hope you all enjoy the last few weeks of winter, spring is right around the corner, promise! On the West Coast of BC, we had a lot of snow and rain filling our wells, our creeks and our lakes to prepare us for the upcoming gardening season. Still, some blue skies have started to peek through the clouds, bringing us hope and a reminder of the weather to come. This is my first trip leaving Canada in two decades so I am pretty excited and thankful to my man for making it possible… In the meantime, remember to stay warm and I will see you on the other side! xoxo

Staycation = Art-Vacation

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Everyone’s idea of a  perfect staycation may differ, but whatever your idea is, I strongly suggest you try it some day. First off, no matter how you choose to spend it, it will be spent where you live and taking advantage of your local attractions, your home, your family and your favourite activity (mine is doing art in case you didn’t know!) I decided on the fly to take a mini staycation last week. For me, this means doing all the things I just mentioned above but adding to the mix staying in the present moment and taking a break from social media – which also means something I highly recommend – no screen time!!!

My staycation coincided with a very sunny and crispy week, weather-wise, so I spent a lot of quality time with my family and in my art studio being creative and admiring the gorgeous weather from the warmth of my house. I felt it would also be great timing to spend time preparing my upcoming vacation to Costa Rica with my best friend. Not only am I excited about going there but also because I know that I am due to return one week before the official start of spring and life will get busy as we move into gardening time! I also took the opportunity to start working on my biggest painting to date! A piece I am creating for a summer art show on Cortes Island. I have to say I am having fun working on a big projects but they’re labour and time intensive; it felt good to take the time to nail out my concept and get the bulk of it done. I look forward to sharing my new painting “Space” with you this Summer. Of course my family (2 mixed-breed Chihuahuas) love hanging out in the studio with me and watching the work grow!!! xoxo Laura

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