Friday, February 29, 2008

The Beauty of Truth

Copyright Tattered Edge 2008
So I am about to veer off the artistic path, onto a decidedly more spiritual one for this post, but I hope you will indulge me. What I wanted to share was an email I got about a week or so ago from my friend Donna Magic. Donna sends out something called the The Daily Word to which I subscribe. It usually contains a quote and then her thoughts on that quote. I always find the messages thought provoking and it's her beautiful way of making the world a better place.

Anyway, this message was one I found I connected deeply with and with her permission, I would like to share it.

"Until you make peace with who you are, you'll never be content with what you have. -Doris Mortman

Making peace with who you are means knowing who you are. It means respecting yourself and respecting others...being kind, loving, and other words, being moral. In Buddhist teaching, morality does not mean a forced or puritanical abiding by rules. In my own definition, morality means living with intentions that reflect love and compassion for ourselves as well as caring for others. As the philosopher George Santayana said, "Morality is the desire to lessen suffering in the world." Living in a way that doesn't perpetuate hurting ourselves or hurting another is considered to be an expression both of great power and great compassion.

The Buddha said that if we truly loved ourselves we would never harm another, because if we harm another it is in some way diminishing who we are. There is no way to lash out at someone physically or verbally, to belittle their achievements, to exploit them in some way, to consider them unworthy of hearing the truth, and emerge undamaged ourselves. We are capable of so much more, and we dishonor that potential when we don't live with integrity."
-Donna Magic

Isn't the truth of this just inspiring? I can hardly read it without tears in my eyes. I wish in our most difficult moments we could remember even a small part of this and act accordingly. It would change the way the world is.

In my life, the people I have connected the most deeply to have been people of great wisdom and compassion. They know who they are. People who carry this kind of energy draw others to them like a moth to a flame. I've talked about kindness here on my blog several times. It's a message that can't be repeated often enough. We all want our lives to be happier, for the world to be a kinder, gentler place. The truth is, it's our responsibility to bring that to the world. We can't just sit there, simply hoping for something to change. WE must be that change. It starts with us, very simply one person at a time.

Awhile back, I posted about the concept of luminaries -people whose light and vision helps to strengthen and improve the lives of those around them. This is another way to spread the light and as Anne Frank once said
“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”

So what are you waiting for?

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Tagging Along

Okay so Deb "tagged" me on her blog and while I usually don't do these things, I am taking a break from what has already by 9:30 a.m. been a busy morning, so I'll go along for the ride.

Here are the Rules:

1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules to your own blog.
3. Share six things about yourself.
4. Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs.
5. Let each person you tag know by leaving a comment on her site.

1. I love clogs. I currently don't own a single pair that fits (I shrunk out of all of my shoes-they're all ended up far too big so I gave them away.) but they are my most favourite type of shoes. I started wearing clogs from a clog factory that used to be in Gastown when I was five and have been hooked on them ever since. These are on my birthday wishlist!

2. I am a sucker for handmade jewellery-bracelets and necklaces. I love the idea of having something unique and special, rather than commercially made. I wear jewellery every day. The jewellery my friends have made or given me is so meaningful and I treasure it.

3. I love my cell phone. I got a chocolate spin for Xmas (in dark cherry red, so I call it the chocolate cherry) and it's the best phone I've ever owned. As much as I like it though, I don't give my number out. Only a select few people have it because I am not much of a cell phone chatter. (I also don't surf the net, text or play games on it, even though I could.) If I make a call, it's for something important-not just to pass the time. Weird, I know, since I have a plan and it's not like I am saving money by not chatting. I like the security of having the cell, I just don't want to be tied down by it. That's just one of my weird little quirks!

4. I love to cook, I hate to bake. Cooking is art. Baking is science. Vive la difference!

5. Surprisingly, there is a shy side to me. Only people who know me really well know that I tend to get shy if put in the spotlight. I prefer to be behind the scenes working hard to make something happen, rather than front and center getting the credit. That's just me. It's enough to have the satisfaction of doing a good job. Good ole prairie values!

6. I have a steel trap memory for music and lyrics. I can remember lyrics from just about anything I've heard once or twice. I can't read music to save my life (My brain is just not wired that way) but if I hear it, I can sing or play it right back and remember it. I played in a band for years and took private music lessons and not once could I ever read the music. No one ever had a clue. I just hear it in my head.

Okay so who am I tagging? How about if you want to play along, you just leave a comment here and I'll go read yours? Sounds like a plan! Okay, breaktime is over-back to work for me!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

I Have A Venue!

Hi folks! I am excited to announce that during the Port Moody Arts Festival Studio Tour, I will be hosted at the Port Moody Arts Center venue. I will be meeting people and showing my art there on April 12th and 13th from NOON to 5 p.m. both days. I may even have some art for sale!

The Arts Center is located at 2425 St. Johns Street, Port Moody which is easy to find, (It's the beautiful yellow heritage building, which was the old City Hall) and there's plenty of free parking behind the building. I hope if you are local you will stop by and say hello-it's always nice to see some friendly faces in the crowd.

Monday, February 25, 2008

February's List

Hello from my little corner of the world! It's been awhile since I did "the list" so I thought that's what I would do today before I delve into the pile of stuff I want to work on! Without further adieu....

Reading: The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. My friend Anna recommended this one. I haven't decided if I like it yet or not.

Watching: Breaking Bad which is not your average tv series. It's about a chemistry teacher who finds out he's dying of cancer and in order to spare his family from being left in debt after he dies, he teams up with a former student to cook meth. It's odd and dark and quirky, but really interesting.

Listening: Shawn Mullins. I am addicted and have pretty much bought all the albums I could get my hands on. Soul's Core and 8th Ward Pickin' Parlour are my most favourite. It's great studio music!

Drinking: Chai-is there anything else?

Anticipating: Artfest! I cannot wait! Only 36 days left!!

Dreaming: I've been thinking about new classes I plan to develop over the summer. Time to start making notes!

Doing: Having a little down time between workshops, which is great-this year has been really busy. I'm having a massage today too-YAY!

Creating: Working on my Artfest swaps today and writing an article.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Doing What You Love

Thanks to everyone who came out to my Altered Book Workshop at Place des Arts yesterday. Wasn't that a lovely day? For those of you not familiar with Place des Arts, it's the arts and music center in Coquitlam, BC. The building is fairly new-they did a major add-on a couple of years ago in addition to renovating the historical buildings on the property. It's light and airy, with plenty of workspace. It's a great venue to teach at.

The classroom I held my workshop in yesterday was on the main floor, facing the courtyard area of the the property, so the view was trees, the grass and park benches. Yesterday was warm and sunny-just gorgeous, so we were able to open all the windows and have a gentle breeze waft in. It was just like spring! In addition to that, there are violin lessons that go on on Saturdays, so all day long we were being serenaded by pretty music, just loud enough to be appreciated. It was like a little slice of heaven! At one point, I said to my students "Man, I just HATE my job!" and we all laughed. I think I have the best job ever-I get to do what I love, meet interesting people and have wonderful experiences and opportunities. It's amazing what happens to your life when you embrace the work of your heart. The Shakers have a saying "Whatsoever the hand finds to do, the heart shall go forth in unison." Amen! to that, I say!

So now I'm on a bit of a break workshop-wise till Spring Break rolls around. I have another article to write, design work and a couple of projects on the go and prep for Artfest to keep me busy in the meantime. April is the Studio Tour so I'll be getting ready for that too. Hmm..did I say break?!? *grins* The last 7 weeks have been crazy busy, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

Now I'm just working on tidying up my studio and putting everything back where it belongs so I can move on to the next thing first thing tomorrow morning. It's another beautiful day so the window is open and a light breeze is coming in. You would hardly know it's February-it feels like May. I hope things are good in your little corner of the world.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Taking a Break

I am away from my computer for a bit, but if you need an eyecandy fix, hop on over to the Valentine's blog-we've posted more pics of the gifts that were exchanged. There are a few more to go-the postal system delayed the arrival of a couple, so stay tuned!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Poking My Head Out

WOW! It's been a very busy last few days. First of all a big THANK YOU to everyone who attended my workshops at Poirier Library on Thursday night and at Coquitlam's District Pro-D day on Friday. It was a pleasure working with and meeting all of you! I really love my job-it's inspiring to me to get to meet such great people and see you getting excited about making art. Thank you all for such an enthusiastic response.

Yesterday was Vancouver's monthly ATC swap and there were a few new faces who came as a result of the Breakfast Television segment I did last month. As usual, we were the rowdy group in the back having a good time talking about all things artsy and swapping cards. I felt kind of bad for all the students who were there, trying to study for finals in the midst of our artistic chaos. It's always funny to see them trying to discreetly figure out what all the fuss is about.

Afterwards, Penn and I went over to Richmond to Daiso to see what treasures we could find. I spotted these fun @ symbol book ends and they just happened to match my studio perfectly. Beleive me, I need them-my Somerset and CPS magazines are always tipping over! I also found some great geometric shape stencils which will come in handy. It's so much fun to poke around in that store and everything is just $2!

This week will be taken up with tidying up the class stuff that is scattered all over my studio and driving me crazy, finishing up a piece of jewellery for an exchange I am in, working on items for sale for the Studio Tour and most importantly, beginning to prepare for Artfest!! It's business as usual here!

Friday, February 15, 2008


Just a quick note for any of my students who have been in workshops in February and wanted to join my Yahoo group to get workshop updates:

If you put your name on the sign up list and HAVE NOT received an invitation from me, it is likely because your emails (for whatever reason) are bouncing back to me.

Please go the the left hand sidebar of this blog, and scroll down till you see the purple Yahoo Groups button. Click on the button to subscribe. It will tell you you must be approved-don't worry-you will be! Once I get the email message to approve you, I'll let you in and you'll be all set.

Unfortunately, sometimes certain email addresses don't work with the Yahoo Groups' invite system. I just didn't want you to think I hadn't tried to include you!

Thanks much!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

OWOH Giveaway

Copyright Tattered Edge 2008
After 154 entries and a whole lotta wonderful examples of kindness being shared, the winner of the OWOH give away is.....Malevolentmini (Michelle)!! Congratulations!! Thanks everyone for entering!

Wishing you all a Happy Valentine's Day! If you were one of those folks who shared a kindness someone had done for you, why not pay it foreward today? Spread the love!

Hop on over to the Valentine's blog to see the magic unfolding there!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


WOOHOO! This is the working cover of the next issue of Haute Handbags, which comes out in April. This will be the issue that my very first article for Somerset gets published in. If you click the link and scroll down, you will see that there is also work being featured by my pals Deb Trotter and Kristen Robinson.

Deb's work is her Buckaroo Bags and the one featured is just so vibrant. I love the colours (my favourites), the bear embellishment and the sweet little First Nations girl. What's not to love? Kristen's work is Three Bags for Jane and the one shown is just so lovely, soft and romantic. Kristen has a real gift for creating along those lines and even though it's not my own style, her work makes me want to embrace my own inner girly-girl. (I know she's in there somewhere!)

Also, congratulations to Karna, a very talented seamstress friend of Deb's who collaborates with her in the creation of the Buckaroo Bags. Well done Karna and I hope you are feeling mighty proud of yourself too!

Sharing this issue with people I love and respect and have the blessing of calling my friends makes it even more special. Congratulations ladies!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Evidence of Art

Copyright Tattered Edge 2008

See? I am actually still squeezing in time for art amidst all the workshops preparations in the last 2 months! This is my page for a collaborative book my friend Penn is hosting called Colour Characters. Three guesses which colour I chose. (It's an Aries thing!) The postage stamp is actually an embellishment on my colour copied pages. I am not 100% sure I am finished with it yet. I might add a few more elements or fuss with it a bit yet.

This is another busy week. I am teaching a third free workshop at the Poirier Library. The demand was so great we decided to have one more to accomadate the folks who were on the wait list. I have been very pleased at the response and it's so great being able to teach in my own community. I love teaching elsewhere, but it's lovely to connect with folks in the city where I live!

I am also presenting a day long workshop at the Coquitlam Teacher's Professional Developement Day. (Or Pro-D day as we call them.) That class seemed to fill up pretty quickly as well! I can't wait!

If you are looking for some Valentine fun, be sure and keep on eye on the Valentine's exchange blog. I've been posting pics over there of the wrapped gifts everyone has sent to their partners. On Thursday we get to open them and will be sharing what's inside each parcel. There will be lots of eyecandy to share!!

Friday, February 08, 2008

News from the Studio

C0pyright Tattered Edge 2008

You know when you are so busy that your brain starts letting go of little things which really aren't so little when you realize it? Well that would be me in the last few weeks. It's been a crazy busy time in the studio since the start of the new year. I am NOT complaining-it's just that I realized the other day that my brain was letting things slide and I had several UH-OH! moments.

For example, I've known for some time that my passport needed renewing. I knew it was scheduled to expire right smack in the middle of Artfest and with the border being in a state of flux in terms of what ID is needed, I figured it would be sensible to just bite the bullet and renew. One thing led to another and I ended up unwittingly parking across someone's driveway and blocked them in. It was totally unintentional and when I returned to my car after about an hour, he was waiting for me. UH OH! I saw what I had done as soon as I arrived and ended up apologising profusely. I am very lucky I didn't get towed! In my own defense, there was sneaux all piled up and I really didn't see the dip in the sidewalk for his drive. I should have seen his truck sitting in the drive, but I was distracted.

The other day I also discovered I was driving around the whole day with expired tags. I had renewed my insurace over the weekend, but since I did it a few days early, I hadn't put the new tag on yet. UH OH! Good thing I didn't get a ticket!

There was also a whole fiasco with copying handouts for my upcoming workshops. In error, I printed a whole wack of scrap paper on my dime. As my friend Linda is so fond of pointing out, Mercury is in retrograde! *grins* That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

On the good side of things, the workshop I taught last night at the library was so much fun! I even had folks bringing me goodies. One lady (apologies-I am blanking on your name.) brought me copies of the photos she took at my trunk show which was very nice of her. Betty Ann did the sweetest thing-she made me a matchbox style altered box and filled it with original ATCs. I was so surprised and it was so lovely of her to want to make me something so special. I will have to post a pic when I find the camera. I haven't unpacked yet.

It really was the nicest class-everyone had such nice things to say to me. I also got to meet Dan who works at the library and makes all the cool promotional materials. He's the one that made that fantastic poster and flyer for my class. I asked if I might have one of the posters when they came down and he went right to his office and printed two up for me-how amazing is that? THANKS Dan! He was pretty humble about his work, but he has an excellent eye for colour and layout and I am very impressed with what he does.

Also in good news department, I have something exciting to share: I have an article being published in the April edition of Haute Handbags!! I am very excited! I won't say more than that just yet, but I imagine that Stampington will have their usual sneak peek up soon so you can find out more. More details to follow.

Okay folks, time for me to get back to business here!

Monday, February 04, 2008


I was inspired this morning by Linda & Opie to participate in the One World, One Heart giveaway. The idea is very simple: it's designed to bring the blogging community together. I love the idea so I am playing along.

These are the goodies I am offering up-a Tattered Pocket Journal, perfect for capturing your thought or to jot down artsy ideas and a packet of Trinkets, bubblegum machine charms. The charms are totally random and fun and would make great embellishments for just about any art project!

To be entered in the draw, please leave a comment here telling me about something kind someone did for you. Make sure you post in such a way that I can contact you (meaning it won't be helpful to post annonymously) and let me know if you too are participating in OWOH so I can play too!

I will accept entries up until 8 p.m. PST on Febrary 13th and then randomly draw a winner and post their name to my blog. Please remember to check back to see who has won! If it's you, you will then email me your mailing info and I will send out your goodies.

That's it! So what are you waiting for? Go comment! :)

Saturday, February 02, 2008

With Heartfelt Thanks

Thursday night was the first of the two free workshops I am doing at Poirier Library. The turn out was wonderful and everyone was so kind. I really enjoyed myself and from the feedback that I recieved it sounds like those of you who came did too! THANK YOU for being such a great group, for interesting questions and for all the lovely things you had to say. I am humbled. Sharing of what I love with others is one of the very best parts of what I do. It's all very well and good to make art, but it's nothing if you don't get out of your studio and have the experience of sharing it with others. Next week is the hands-on part of the workshop and I am looking forward to it.

In the magical way my life works, the universe presented me with some wonderful opportunities on Thursday night. Some things are still in the process of being worked out, but I can tell you that I have been invited by the executive director of ArtsConnect to participate in The Port Moody Festival of the Arts Studio Tour in mid-April. From what I understand, this festival includes artist from the Tri-City area (Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam and Port Moody) and the studio tour takes place in Port Moody. This means if your studio is outside of the tour area, you will be hosted at a venue, which is what will happen in my case. I will be stationed somewhere within the route and be showing my art and probably working on something while people visit. Isn't that exciting? I'll be posting more details as they become available.

In the meantime, it's back to work for me! I have a stack of new rubber from Paper Artsy just begging to be explored, preparations for an upcoming class, two art projects to finish and submit and we won't even talk about getting ready for Artfest! WHEW! It's a whirlwind in the studio these days and I couldn't be happier!