Monday, December 29, 2014

2014 Mantra: Have Courage

This time last year I was planning (and worrying) about the most exciting adventure I've embarked on in the short time thus far that I've been on this earth. I was moving away from everyone and everything I knew to study in a foreign country, France, for 5 months! Sure, I spoke the language. I had connections there; an old friend who coincidentally was going to be there at the same time; a school program to welcome me and give me some structure and a place to meet people... of course, I would be fine.

It's really weird to think back to the whirlwind of emotions I was feeling. I was so damn excited, but so nervous. The combo was overwhelming! I had started seeing someone, a really nice guy, but it was silly and bittersweet because I knew I was leaving in just a month and that things would end. I was so scared I'd hate the school program; that I'd get sad and not have my circle of support, my friends and family, there to cheer me up. I was scared of the dangers that come with living alone as a young female in a foreign land. I was scared that I would love it so much that I wouldn't want to come back - that I'd be torn between a city and my life back home.

So, we've established that I was scared. Alongside all this worrying I became really close friends with a boy who I have always been able to talk to fluidly, whose opinion I cherish. He told me:

"I think it's a good thing you're scared, because if you were completely comfortable, what's the point? What could you learn, how would you grow?""

 If you've been following for a while now, you'll remember me posting about this almost a year ago here! I also wrote how this inspired me to choose a single New Years mantra, to Have Courage.

Let me tell you; this mantra was the most perfect coupling of words to remind myself of this entire year. It's been an amazing 12 months - and part of it is because of the decision to throw myself headfirst into life and all its little or big adventures, and not let my nerves hold me back. The boy who told me those words is the great guy I'm currently seeing and he is still the very best, and I am glad we both had the courage and patience to wait the 5 months until I came back home. And Paris? Absolutely life changing, as cheesy and cliché as that sounds. I embraced it the very best I could and had so many adventures, made so many friends and memories that I will forever hold dear to my heart. I constantly remind myself to have courage and it helps me to fully enjoy my every day and wahtever opportunity comes my way. Life is so, so full and so good.

I don't know if I really WANT to change my mantra for 2015, it served me so well this year. Maybe I can just come up with a second one, an additional mantra. Can't hurt, right?!

Do you make New Years resolutions, or have a mantra?

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Sunday Somethings: A Happy Holiday

Happy holidays everyone! I hope you had a Merry Christmas, and if you celebrate something else I hope that too was wonderful! My holidays are always super busy - I actually still have one last holiday dinner with more extended family tonight, wooee. It's been a really wonderful time of year, filled with lots of family and love and hugs and gratefulness. I for one got teary-eyed a few times because I felt so fortunate and thankful to be surrounded by such loving and generous people.

A few somethings from this Christmas:
1. Christmas morning with my dad, siblings, sister's boyfriend, and step mum's family. Santa brought us all funny socks in our stockings!

2. My mum got me a beautiful tapestry from a fair trade store, it's made in Bangladesh and I'm so in love with it!

3. A few weeks ago I had to get a new phone (bad timing - most expensive time of year, ahh!) and I ended up getting the Samsung Galaxy Note, which comes with a stylus and pressure sensitivity and so I've been drawing and drawing and drawing on it, it's the perfect phone for an illustrator! This (slightly drunk-looking) Santa is one of the doodles I did.

4. On the way home from a concert downtown, we passed by this street of giant blow-up Santas in a cab. We vowed to go back and take a walk down Santa Claus Lane. A date on Santa Claus Lane! We were disappointed by this year's lack of snow, but I am so glad we went anyway before they took them all down. It was so bizarre and eerie, but also really fun!

How were your holidays? Any little holiday somethings you'd like to share?


Sunday, December 21, 2014

Free Printable: 6 Collaged Christmas Cards!

This season I decided to collage all my Christmas Cards. Things got really fun and goofy hehe. I scanned all of my cards before handing them out and thought I'd might as well share them with you guys in case you're looking for some fun, last minute cards to give out! I'm pretty fond of the silly happy faces that came out of these mini collages!

Download the 6 images here!

Let me know if you print these out!
Enjoy ;)


Thursday, December 18, 2014

Something New: Weaving!

I'm really excited to share my latest creative endeavour with you guys! It's probably because wall-weavings are super trendy right now, but I felt absolutely compelled to give it a shot on my own. I've always been very drawn to textiles and it's nice to be have a bit of free time from my illustrative school work to create in such a hands-on way.  I'm obsessed!

These are very early attempts - already just looking at these photos I see so many things I'd do differently the next time! It's all a learning process, right? It's fun to learn which types of yarns work best for what, which I personally prefer, which ones leave little micro fuzz stuck in my eyelashes and are impossible to spot and remove... haha!

I'm really into this one, mostly because it's the most recent therefore the better one hehe. Plus the pea-green colour in the middle is one of my favourite yarns - I've actually had a few balls of it for years.

So this is what I've been up to with some of my spare time since school's been out, busily making away to hopefully give some of these out as gifts this holiday season!  It's hard to part with my work though (always is), so I took the time to photograph these properly so I can sort of keep them, in my own little way!

What do you think of this weaving trend? Have you tried it?


Gift Ideas: 3 Quick and Easy DIYs

If you're anything like myself and the majority of us really, you may find yourself less than a week away from Christmas (!!) with a small budget and a need to whip up some usable, beautiful gifts for the special folks in your life. My problem with some DIY's I've done in the past, is that sometimes they aren't really functional or the taste of people I am giving gifts to. So! I've rounded up some fun gift ideas that are relatively easy and wouldn't take too long that your friends and family can actually use and appreciate. You may even have most of the required materials already!

1. Soy Candles (DIY & Photo by The Baker Chick) this is what my mum and I are doing this year! We make ours a bit differently, but this is a solid idea, and it's eco friendly! Try to buy un-treated cotton wicks  and natural essential oils for maximum environmental friendliness! We actually go to the local thrift shop to pick up little cups and containers to make ours extra special, and it's so fun to choose and mix fragrances!

2. Felt Woodland Creature Felt Masks (DIY & Photo by A Beautiful Mess) this is such a cute idea for any kids (or kids at heart!) that you know! I would have loved a handmade animal mask when I was a wee one!

3. Clay Bead Necklaces (DIY & Photo by Design Love Fest) simple statement necklaces never seem to go out of style - I could also see this working with wooden beads that you can buy at any craft shop! I would personally have a lot of fun painting fun patterns on the beads!

**** Bonus! Here's a small list of free holiday printables by some of my favourite bloggers!
Christmas Card Templates by Cocorrina
Beautiful Gift Tags by Oana Befort
Cute & Funny Printable Cards by A Pear & A Spare

Happy making!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Seventh of Eight Semesters

I write this post from a position of absolute relief having just finished my semester at school. It's the seventh out of eight semesters in my university experience, which means I have only one semester left! It's insane how time flies, but I'm really excited to take advantage of the last stretch of being in school and learning from the excellent profs in my program. They have tons to teach so I'm going to soak it all up while I can!

Meanwhile though, I'm on holidays! I've already spent the weekend going to shows with amazing bands playing, enjoying some sleep-ins, crafting away in my little studio to make some Christmas gifts, and just generally relaxing a bit. It's been really nice to take a breather and create in a self-directed way that I really enjoy!

Are you on holidays right now, or soon?
Any fun plans to fill up your little bits of free time?

ps. I saw this graffiti near my school on my way home from my last critique! I thought it was a cute sign reminding me how happy I am to be done ;)

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Sunday Somethings .o2

- The above photo is one of the things I'm going to miss from school when I graduate; the incredible view I get at all times of the day! Sun rise, sun set... my classrooms are high above the rest of the buildings around us so the views often distract me from class.

- My fella got me a beautiful coffee percolator and some organic dark coffee for my birthday! I've not used my family's one-machine-does-it-all coffee maker since. I used a percolator in Paris and fell in love with the flavour of the coffee it makes - so rich and delish! I'm kind of obsessed.

- I am just about all done with school for the semester! Wooee! I've just got a painting due Thursday and then it's a wrap. On that note though - one of my profs sent me a message to tell me I did a part of my final essay wrong, and suggested I re-do it and resubmit it so that I don't lose marks. I thought it was so kind of her to reach out like that. I really did have a handful of amazing profs this semester!

- Since I've been done with classes I've been trying my hand at weaving, which I've shared on my instagram! It's so fun! I have a bunch of yarn lying around from when I used to knit like a mad woman, so it's nice to give it a use and to work in such a tactile media for a change!

What's been on your mind this weekend?

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Gift Ideas: 3 Etsy Shops I Love Right now

Etsy Gift Ideas

This is the second year that I am shopping small and handmade for Christmas gifts. It's something near and dear to my heart and I do believe there is always an alternative to the big bullies and mass produced goodies. As a bonus, it always feels so good to support artisans and specific individuals as opposed to corporations!!

I might be focusing on making my own gifts this year in the spirit of being budget friendly, but I have been daydreaming nonetheless; scanning some of my favourite etsy shops for ideas. I've been digging anything rustic and western lately, and as always I love me some good, earthy, speckled ceramics!

Which Etsy shops have you been into this holiday season?