halloween DIY

31 Oct

Since I am not a big “party-er,” and because I eat more candy than I should on every other day of the year, Halloween is never something I am freaking out about… However, I must admit that I do love the “against-the-norm” qualities of the holiday, and am always happy to encourage people to be more creative, more uninhibited, and all in all more childlike in their everyday lives, so Halloween is a great excuse to do so.  A couple Halloweens ago, I went all out and made myself a costume that was absolutely perfect, considering my obsession with mail art at the time. Since then I’ve gone as a bottle of Sriracha Sauce and also Spielberg’s E.T.. This year however, I didn’t feel like pouring hours into a costume, but of course I still wanted to exercise my creativity. Screen Shot 2014-10-31 at 8.14.46 PMA fantastic art and design website, Colossal, featured a genius designer by the name of Stephen Wintercroft who has created the most fantastic “build-it-yourself” masks. They are perfect considering today’s trends with animals, geometric pattern, and faceted design. With his genius ideas dangled in front of my face in almost every Etsy newsletter leading up to this holiday, and with the end of the week quickly approaching, I decided to join the hundreds of DIY halloweeners who had also purchased his designs, and picked out a creepy classic: the skull. If you have somewhere to be this weekend to celebrate, but have yet to figure out something to wear, these are a great idea!

the north

23 Oct

IMG_0037 IMG_0047Last month I had the immense privileged of traveling to the North West Territories for a week to participate in an artist’s symposium. Aurora Arts Society graciously invited me to be a part of their week-long creative event known as Art’s Week. Screen Shot 2014-10-23 at 9.17.19 AMIMG_9926I instructed a simple workshop on altered books, gave a little artist’s talk about my practice and how to set up your own shop on Etsy, and was also part of a panel of talented artists and business people who spoke about marketing yourself and your work. Rubbing elbows with “my people” and spending a week fully immersed in creative activity was such a well needed burst of wind in my sails. 1932396_10152577737167326_7481493611128818483_nSpending a lot of time with one of my dearest friends, Marcus, from my BFA days at ACAD, was the true highlight though. It was so wonderful to see his daily life first hand, meet the wonderful folks he calls friends, and see why the North has stolen his heart.IMG_9963 IMG_0051IMG_9941 Driving through the forests in Kyle’s Jeep, searching for roadkill to use in Marc’s practice, digging around for treasures at the dump, and watching the aurora dance in the night sky were some of the best parts of my adventure. I felt truly blessed to have seen the North amidst a change in season; the landscape was absolutely alive with color. IMG_9952IMG_9933 IMG_9924I am incredibly grateful to have been presented with such an amazing artistic opportunity, not to mention the trip of a lifetime. Thank you so much to Aurora Arts Society, Marcus Jackson, and all of the Northerners who I had the absolute pleasure of meeting!

NMF at Made in Canada

6 Oct

Screen Shot 2014-10-06 at 8.23.07 AMAs I mentioned in my post last month, Etsy concocted the fabulous idea of a Canada-wide pop-up market featuring some of their many talented sellers. I was thrilled to see Kelowna on the list, as it is only a 4 hour drive from Castlegar! Although I adore small town life, one of the few things I miss about the big city is consistent opportunities to sell and market my work in person… so, naturally, I was thrilled to have a big name market being planned closer to home than larger centers like Vancouver or Calgary. Nature’s My Friend would be there!  Screen Shot 2014-10-06 at 8.24.01 AMI recently did a big trip to the NWT (much more on that coming soon) and flew back into Kelowna with only a day to spare before the show. Knowing that I’d be coming back to a quick deadline, I actually got all of my little show ducks in a nice row over a week before the show date. For someone who loves to squeeze everything out of every minute, it can be hard to not get finicky over the details and get excessive with production down to the wire. I’ve learned that knowing the set-up of your table or booth is the most crucial step to have organized, because in order to do that, you automatically discover what product to bring and how much you will need of it. I also triple-check an essentials list that has everything from a cash box and inventory book all the way to seemingly silly yet super important things like lip-chap and band-aids. Having a friend go over it all with you can be helpful too (even if it’s just for moral support, thanks Crumb!) I am hopeful I can use this show as a precedent and in future, be this organized at all of my pop-up markets.Screen Shot 2014-10-06 at 8.27.46 AMDue to my (normally unheard of) planning, having the entire event set in a fantastic venue (that yes, was a winery, and yes, was selling wine by the glass),  plus landing a gorgeous spot right near the entrance, all meant that the day went absolutely fabulously. I met some really great people, had a lot of nature lovers adopt some animals, and even had a few shoppers playing Santa early! Screen Shot 2014-10-06 at 8.34.43 AMAbove is a shot of my booth. Sorry, no photos with me in it! I almost wish the event was two days; perhaps that’s something Etsy would consider? I would have loved to take more photos, have extra time to meet more lovely Kelownians, and to connect with some wonderful artists and crafters that are only one mountain range away. I miss my kind of people. Good thing Etsy’s doing this whole thing again next year; see you there with bells on!