Posts in Category: Pictorials
I have just returned home from a mind-altering, soul-shifting work retreat. So much more on that later. I came home with a big hunger in my heart to dote on my little ones, to scoop them up in big cuddles and get some serious organizing done around the house. This includes spending far too much time going through photos from the whirlwind that has been this past Summer now nearing on the end of Autumn. I am awe-struck by the beauty I I have been gifted with in these sprightly, curious, remarkable humans Trev and I are raising.
I love watching them grow and build friendships and relationships to last a lifetime. These are but a few pics of my curly haired, chubby (still) cheeked firecrackers and those they call their bests. I hope to nurture these relationships well on into the years…
The winter has been long and the crafting and visualizing and dreaming and mapping and tackling has been much. Here’s a bit of what our hands have been up to, feeding our spirits and continuing to make our home uniquely our own. Where our hearts live and dragons breathe fire on occasion, when it all becomes too much. So we make felt and pipe cleaner crowns and wands and hope it’s magic enough until the frost breaks. (Which it did, and then it didn’t, and then it did … and we’re currently in a state of blizzardy DIDN’T.) The making of said crowns and wands turned more into a mom-craft than a kid-craft as they lost interest, but they still have fun playing with them anyways.
Our home: where no one else knows and no one else but us, my little family … sees the joys and failures of each day. As long as we use our hands to gather hugs, make art and build pretty things, I’m confident, all will be fine. I know I breathe fire a lot less when tapping into creativity and art. Something I hope to continue to pass onto my chldren. Play is the work of childhood after all, as Maria Montessori so simple yet brilliantly coined many moons ago.
Below are some floating shelves I’ve been conjuring upon since last summer, using galvanized steel, pine I measured, had cut at the good ‘ole Home Depot, stained and cured myself. Of course I measured the pipe I had cut wrong, but everything else was perfect, I swear! If not for some very good friends who came over to help, we would have been doomed. (I’m talking to you Sean! And Char, your lovely wife for holding up the windows that I had to take down one by one and clean, inclding all the runners and all the yuck. At 10 o’clock at night. When you were both supposed to be our dinner guests. And I fed you vegetarian that was spicy. Becasue of course.)
Anyways, aren’t they pretty? I had a hard time getting good photos since the shelves hover over a window, hence an epic battle with natural light and all, but you’ll have to trust me, they are quite dreamy and my kicthen is slowly turning into the unique, totally custom, inviting headquartes of magic-making, love-making, , ecclectic, homestead-y, jungalow type of warmth that I’ve been dreaming about …
That up there is one of my favourite early photos from Toronto based touring songwriter Kristin Sweetland’s self-portrait photography series, ‘Adventures in Sweetland.’ I first met Kristin as one of my husband’s dearest friends, many moons ago when we first started dating. I was immediately smitten with her mysterious and creative ways. She’s the kind of woman who emanates artistic sensuality and a dark fire, yet constant grace and sweet friendliness. An air of fantasy and intrigue embodies all that she does. You at once become entranced with her intoxicating, witchy ways, if you’re lucky enough to meet her.
My husband describes her as a surprisingly and uniquely brilliant musician and photographer; a friend he has loved and admired for 15 years. A mind that flirts the line between the innocent and the macabre.
For years I’ve been blown away by her vision and the flawless execution which she unfurls into her photography. This is completely her alone at work here, using a tripod or mirrors and other tricks she may or may not tell you about. She definitely doesn’t have someone following her around snapping the shots. Most of them feature herself as the subject of muse and at times, she opens up the lens to include those she travels with on tour as a musician.
This collection dates back as far as 1999. That’s nearly 16 years. I would say it’s about damn time she released a book of her work and had an exhibition of equally (to her) fanciful proportions. The book layout is designed by Toronto-based promoter and graphic designer Michael “A Man Called” Wrycraft, who has worked on album covers for Bruce Cockburn, The Trews and Sweetland`s most recent instrumental project: Captain Dirt & the Skirt, amongst literally hundreds of others.
The Adventures in Sweetland series began when Kristin was given an assignment in a photography course at the University of Victoria to document her emotions through a series of self-portraits. The class ended, but the series never stopped. Watch the video teaser for this project…
Right now she’s cackling in the other room. Slow and calculated, as she makes up the story to words she can’t read yet, from one of the books she has opened from the pile that lay scattered about her feet. There’s a trail of books in fact from the bathroom door leading to underneath the dining room table where Schleich animals are splayed out amongst those books ready and waiting to play a part in the the scene she’s crafting from the caverns of her mind. Moments before she had thrown a fit about not wanting put her play-dough away, shoving all of her fingers in her mouth and biting down hard in frustration.
“Dance,” we whispered. “Sing!” We exclaimed. And so they did…with little to no goading at all, really. Because they are children. Beautiful, musical, sprightly little beings who love nothing better than to put on a show. Except of course if it’s in front of a huge crowd under big bright lights. But they got there and loved it in the end. To see their beaming faces full of pride after felt dang good. Like Sunday morning cuddles and breakfast in bed.
Jen and I…and our littles, we are all lucky to be developing such friendships. Our youngest two, her boy Mikey and my girl Abby attend the same performing arts “academy” (daycare, ahem).
This place is serious. I mean, there’s full-on dance and music studio classrooms at their school, with a singer-songwriter on the payroll who makes the daily rounds. They do tap, ballet and all sorts of other adorable things. There’s a BARRE in the dance room, complete with official mirrored wall. So of course they performed their own rendition of ‘The Grinch’, with a random toss-in of ‘Let It Go’. Obviously.
As for my boy Wyndham, well…I was busy a tad busy helping coordinate a couple of holiday concert fundraisers at his school and we were lucky enough to host two nights of entertainment for the students, faculty, family and friends for all of the grades: K-8! All of the performers donated their time and the students all collaborated in each classroom to create Silent Art Auction pieces! We all continue to feel deep gratitude towards The Monkey Bunch, Evalyn Parry, Sarah Beatty, Mr. Mills (our favourite guys around here) and the Johnson Street Public School Student Council and faculty for helping to produce two such fantastic evenings of live music and art! Special thanks to The Good Lovelies as well for donating two CD bundles to auction off each respective night!
I’m a bit late in sharing the photos because, Christmas, so enjoy! (All photos of Abby and Mikey’s recital were taken by their immensely talented dad Doug Bedard, aka PLEX, aka Jen’s man, who also donated his musical talents for one of Wyndham’s school concerts. Thanks Doug!
What to say? We’ve been recovering / steeping in new health diagnoses and recovery. Jen will fill you all in on her news when she’s ready, as for us…well. Part of me doesn’t want to get into it because it’s gotten to the point of feeling over-the-top. Ludicrous even. I wrote a Facebook status a few nights ago that seemed to humour quite a few people with it’s dark embrace. For those of you who aren’t in the know I’m going to cheat and copy and paste that status here.
“Oh Christmas of 2014. December has been a month of saying goodbye to pneumonia and hello to the extraction of my wisdom teeth to be met by dry socket (don’t google that). Gout diagnosis (the husband). Unplanned holiday shopping ending in too much Frozen crap. Currently nursing (and by nursed I mean vodka at this point, because really I just need to laugh off these past 6 weeks off) cracked rib and a hairline arm fracture from wiping out on that bitch Ariel’s stupid mermaid tail on the stairs. And yet, I still have faith in my paleo cookie baking prowess and my house looks badass, in the way that a real tree, magazine worthy mantle action and overdone twinkle lights at every corner a la Martha Stewart wannabe styling can accomplish. This will be a holiday to remember that’s for sure. I hate to say it but it would appear as though Disney has been more than partially responsible for my demise. This should probably be a blog post since I haven’t updated that in a good month or so complete with perfect bokeh shots, but meh. I have carrots to peel and Baileys to switch to. Don’t judge my self-medication and yes, I’m popping pain pills at this point too! I dare say I’m going into 2015 with a streak of honesty if anything. *Hits post*”
I have a turkey to brine and presents to wrap, moving at a bout 1/2 the pace I usually do, so. Please enjoy a few snaps of that which my alter ego Martha Fishwater finds deep pleasure in executing: holiday styling.
What’s a wedding without a party? Who likes to party? The answers are, not much – and we do!
I’ve thought long and hard on how I might prose this (largely) pictorial style wrap to the sharing of our wedding photos. Why? (Another question, oh yes.) Well, largely in part because the location of our reception turned out to be rather unfortunate. Not in our enjoyment for the evening of (more or less), but most definitely in the after-math.
I won’t say another thing about it but to link to a review (and other reviews at the end of the fun) when I’m good and ready at the end of this post. (I’ll edit and link-up when that happens.) Because – well – this was our wedding. We don’t want to continue to mar the beauty of the day with any more negativity than that which has already been attempted. We, our guests – our family and friends; set a stellar space, the music flowed (as did a few other libations) and the glow of love and joy was huge. That’s it, that’s all this post should be about; yet on the good word of some colleagues and those who are in the know…it wouldn’t be right to promote said business in a shining light given our experiences.
So I hope you understand the vagueness (I’m sure some of you want the scoop, who doesn’t love a dirty scoop – especially when it comes to a small wedding, in a small town at a local business?) You’ll have to wait for those reviews my pretties and just enjoy the positive flow of these photos. There is a video yet to come and a couple of posts over on Babble where I’ll highlight the kids’ involvement in our wedding a bit more.
Help us lift the memory of our evening up in the light, grace, style and class that it deserves…and leave the rest in the past, my friends. (All amazing photography by Ratul Debnath of Image Pros Photography. You can see PART ONE, The Ceremony, by clicking here.)
There are many things that I could share about our wedding; from the love and support that came pouring in from all directions to help with every little detail and DIY project, (in advance and in the very hour before), our traditional Midewiwin ceremony on the shores of Kempenfelt Bay just down the street from our home and our (questionably – we’ll link to some service reviews down the road) fabulous reception.
It was a day – and night – that we’ll always remember as being remarkable in it’s wild journey, yet final serene moment – that brought is walking through the Eastern Door to honouring our central and third fire. To honour our love, our relationship, our children, our family and let go of any pain from the past.
It was in said wildness of the day that as each love-filled, hectic moment continued, that I tried to savour and ruminate in what I un-folding – but, truth be told – as most brides expereince supposes – my mind was racing and my hands were in a myriad of projects to be finished in time. I definitely wasn’t at the spa getting my make-up and hair done, sipping champagne. Which is fine. I wanted to do a (mostly) DIY wedding and that’s exactly what it was, with everyone we love and who loves us, helping (as if they had a choice!) along on our (my?) quest.
When I received our wedding pictures last night I took pleasure in re-visiting our day, which is the point really. Everyone loves wedding photos – they are a visual, time-less testament and I am deeply grateful to our dear friend Ratul Debnath of Image Pros Photography for lending us his expertise. He is a kind and generous soul that has a place at our dinner table, in our hearts and in our family forevermore. (Thanks dude, for being you.)
We have A LOT of pictures so I’ve decided to break things up into two parts, today’s pictorial is all about the ceremony, beginning with some behind-the-scenes action in our home.
But why? Why on earth would I do that? Psh, you might be saying to yourself…’sure, you could make any baked good without all of those luxurious (necessary) things, but it won’t taste good.’
And after one failed attempt I might have agreed with you. But like
any glutton for punishment, home cook who has a big Holiday table to feed, including a bevy of loved ones with food allergies…I knew I had to perfect this recipe. A pumpkin pie that tastes just as decadent and creamy as it’s traditional velvet-like ancestors…