Saturday, October 31, 2009

It's time for dressing up

and our day is pretty full today. trick or treating at the Lonsdale quay this afternoon before the Halloween afternoon lunch party then rushing home to get the cauldron out and change the light in the entry and a quick trip through the neighborhood to collect some treats. After the tricking and treating dies down I'll be doing a little personal work for Samhain to start the year.

It's going to be a long long day and I'll be carrying my camera as much as possible.

On a completely related topic Mrs B's last day of Halloween is a doozy! so many great giveaways and the Haunted blog tour is not one to miss. I've put my name in for Octoberfarm's gift basket and for's Peeking Sal Organic Tote, but there's also a sweet tea towel up for grabs, an awesome crochet book from Quirke and a gorgeous pendant from Aunia Kahn.

you can enter for all these fabulous prizes here

To quote Mrs B because she says it so well: Have a safe and happy Halloween! For those who practice, have a blessed Samhain, and for those on the other side from me, have a blessed Beltane!

Friday, October 30, 2009

I love dressing up

for Halloween and my preferred costume is one that I made the year I met my husband. It's a simple costume that I've added and subtracted to over the years. In the last 16 years I've only missed wearing it a total of 3 years.

It was simple to make. Making it was one of the reasons that I decided to do my best to make all of the Peanut's costumes if I could. So far I've been pretty good with it:

City Mouse/ kitty cat at 4 months

Cowboy Fairy Princess

Ladybug/ ladybug Princess

and this year we'll be trying for ladybug butterfly actual costume title is yet to be determined.

As for me, I'll be putting on my costume too

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Thousand Words Thursday

Pink & Green Mama posted about this phenomenon the
other day and I decided to give it a try at my house.
I even managed to suitably impress the husband
with my anti-gravity skills

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Jack-o-lantern, Jack-o-lantern,
you are such a funny sight
As you sit there by the window,
looking out at the night
You were once a sturdy pumpkin
growing on a vine
Now you are a Jack-o-lantern,
see the light shine

As I mentioned yesterday we carved our first Jack-o-lantern since I was a young. As a kid, I know that we had jack-o-lanterns more than once, but I can only truly recall carving one. My dad brought out the sharpest knife in the house, which happened to be his folding hunting knife. The knife slipped and my sister got a pretty nasty cut which required stitches. What did I take from the experience? The obvious of course, don't put your hand close to a pumpkin being carved with a hunting knife.

Luckily there were no mishaps of that sort with our little lantern.

The decision of whether to go old school with triangular eyes, nose and gap toothed grin or to make a less traditional carving meant that we did a little web surfing to see what could be done and everyone put in their two cents which meant that my husband said yes to the first idea I showed him and the Peanut said yes to the first one that featured one of her favourite animals.

I did a sketch of the most popular carving and went to work:

Monday, October 26, 2009

Monsters, chainmail and Pavor Nocturnus Oh My!

The Spiral Dance was last night and I'm still processing. It was a great night full of magic and mystery and I'm so glad I went. My goals for the new year include renewing my dedication to the Goddess and God and last night's celebration is the best first step on that path.

After a late night, I woke to the 26th day of Mrs. B's 31 days of Halloween. There are some awesome giveaways today, I have my eye on the little monster, The Peanut will most likely claim him as her own. Today we'll also be carving our pumpkin, our first since I was a kid.

I'll post pics tomorrow.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

There's a ghost in the house

My giveaway on Mrs. B's 31 days of Halloween was a great success, the feedback on my photography was very confidence boosting, to say the least. I have the winner's mailing address and I'll be sending off her photograph and a little something extra by mid-week.

Speaking of Mrs. B's Halloween giveaways; way back at the beginning of the month I entered one of the many giveaways and I won! OK, I'll admit the giveaways have been so good that I've entered to win almost all of them. I've been fortunate enough to have won two of the giveaways and I'm so excited about both.

I've received one of my prizes in the mail already and he's a welcome addition to our spooky decor. So what did I win? Who is hanging in my window? First things first: Jenny at Sneddonia is an Artist and Designer/Maker based in the UK, she works in a variety of media, and she learned many of her skills on a BA Hons Design: Crafts degree. One of the great things about her work is that she uses reclaimed materials in her work; scouring second-hand shops for old jewellery which she repurposes into new creations. You can expect to find reused chain, beads, and other found materials in many of her pieces.

You can see more of Sneddonia's work on her website, and on Flickr, where can also check out her studio. You can also follow her on Myspace, linkedin and on Facebook. She's a fabulous artist and craftswoman and I have to say that I am a teeny bit envious of her education, the opportunity to add as many techniques as possible to the artistic toolbox is worth a it's weight in gold. Her Blog; Sneddonia Designs is also well worth a read, not only does she showcase her finished work but also her process; in one post she even gives us a peek into her sketchbook which is an incredible way to see an artists' process.

So back to my prize: I snagged a Ghost Hanging Decoration. The package was very well put together, with three fun jack-o-lantern stickers on the outside. The Ghost was wrapped in lavender tissue and well protected. Jenny also included a lovely hand written note and some business cards to pass along to friends and family which I will be doing for sure. I'll be hanging the postcard up in my workspace too!

As for the little Ghosty; I love the expert craftsmanship that was put into his creation. Her bead placement is deceptively simple, you can tell that a lot of time and thought were put into the design. We've hung him in our kitchen window where he keeps us company as we eat, craft and make our own art. He's also keeping a ghostly eye on the many crows, black squirrels and the skunk who make our backyard a part of their daily destination.

I'd like to thank Mrs B for all her hard work so far this month and Jenny for including such a fantastic decoration in the festivities.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

On the 24th day of Hallowe'en:

one of my photographs is up for grabs at Mrs. B's 31 days of Halloween while you're visiting her blog you can also check out the Haunted Blog tour and the Guest blogger.

Yesterday I received one of the giveaway prizes I was lucky enough to win over at Mrs. B's I'll be posting pictures of my booty (read: my winnings and not my behind) tomorrow. Speaking of tomorrow, I'm headed to the Samhain Spiral Dance. This year I'm going with a friend who's never been, and I'm excited to be able to share it with her.

Head on over to Mrs. B's now and enter to win my photograph and see what else is up for grabs!

Friday, October 23, 2009

It's on

the weekend that is. Yesterday I mentioned that this week is a little special. Yesterday's rundown of our trip into the underworld was just the kickoff, this weekend is chock full of Halloweeny goodness; starting with Mrs B's 31 Days of Halloween and ending Sunday Night with the Reclaiming Tradition's Samhain Spiral Dance.

Mrs B has been putting on one excellent month long celebration with giveaways galore, fun crafts, guest bloggers and a Haunted Blog tour and tomorrow I get to participate further than just entering to win the fabulous giveaways; I'm offering the prize for one of her giveaways in tomorrows celebration and I'm very excited.

Ending my weekend will be the Samhain Spiral Dance. My first experience with Wicca and witchcraft was during this public ceremony and it opened my eyes in more ways than one. Although the one I attend is not as big as the one shown in the link; It was a deeply moving experience for me and one I look forward to participating in again.

Since the arrival of the Peanut, finding the time and energy to put into my spiritual practice has been a challenge. I'll have to admit that in most cases I've lost the thread completely. It's not hard to believe, growing up spiritual matters were not at the forefront of daily life and when you're getting used to another person, one who needs your attention almost 100% of the time it's easy to let that part slip in favour of getting more sleep, cuddling the baby, toddler and now preschooler, this year is the first since her arrival that I've felt the call of the moon, the earth supporting me and the fire within me. These things have been there all the time; but I'm finding that the world around me is poking me in the ribs in different ways so that I'll start to pay attention again.

So this weekend will be a busy and full one for me, the Weekly Artist feature usually scheduled on Fridays will be set up a little differently for the next while to focus on holiday shopping but will return again soon. Make sure to drop in on Mrs B's blog tomorrow, I'll be dropping by to post a link too before I get on with all the prep for and fun of the weekend.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Journey into the underworld

Normally Thursdays are set aside for Thousand Word Posts here, but this week is a little special. Take last night for instance.

The Peanut and I got up from our nap yesterday and immediately started packing up and bundling up to get out the door. We met the third member of our family group at the sky train station and headed of for a quick trip into the mysteries of the underworld via the Stanley Park Ghost Train.

It's a family tradition for us, and a fun way to get into the Halloween spirit. This year's theme had more of a story line than the last few we've been to and a lot more live performers too.

Zombies. Voodoo gods. Wild Women of the Woods. Three-headed dogs.
Mexican witches' brew. All these and more are in store for those who
dare to climb aboard this year's Stanley Park Hallowe'en Ghost Train.

Just ask Georgie—if you get a chance! Georgie is on the run, dodging
and ducking an international group of ghouls and ghosties that
inhabit the underworld. Will the mischievous child outrun the Wild
Woman of the Woods, outwit the voodoo god Obatal, outsmart the
Goddess of Death Kali? And can Georgie stay one step ahead of
the man with the child-sized sack, Gentleman Jack?

Since 1999, the Ghost Train has become an annual tradition for thousands of families craving thrills and excitement. Reinventing itself each year with new themes, sets, costumes and many more surprises conjured up by the creative team at Mortal Coil Performance Society , the Ghost Train is a uniquely wonderful and fun experience every trick-or-treat season.

taken from the Ghost Train website

I did take my camera, and I did take some pictures, but not of the ride itself. I like to step out from behind the camera every now and then and to experience an event as a participant as opposed to being an observer, plus any pictures I would have taken would have been flash lit and taken away from the dark spooky atmosphere that the ghost train is all about. To properly photograph the ride would involve being off the train with my tripod and the participation of the players; which would be cool, but not going to happen any time soon. So I captured some of the non-train activities and decor.

The gateway into the underworld

In addition to the Ghost Train, Mortal Coil the company that puts on this event, and the park sets up some fantastic props and other activities to set the mood and keep the impatient (read: 3 year old) busy until it's time to catch their train. There is face painting, Hole in the Head Wooden photo props and this year a shadow puppet workshop. We made a bird puppet and had fun making shadows on the screen and watching the skeletons, snakes, ghosts and dragons shadows other people were making come to life on the screen.

We arrived early enough to take a leisurely stroll through the Haunted Farm Yard for more spooky fun. There were ghastly beach scenes, and creepy figures peeking out at those brave enough to venture past the gate, and of course, scariest of all; in the darkest part of the barn, were


This portion of the evening is not for the faint of heart.

The peanut took a shine to one of the Llamas, the sheep and the pony.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Halloween is getting closer

and you can tell because:

not only that but we're going on the Ghost Train tomorrow night. It's a family tradition for us, we started when the peanut was an itty bitty bit and we unaware that she was hanging out inside my belly and we've gone every year since. Since the Peanut is nuts about trains and has been for most of her life it's a treat on many many levels, not only does she get to stay up extra late but she gets a ride on the train, and a chance to see the petting zoo animals and there's a possibility of peacocks and raccoons. (We of course have raccoons in our neighborhood but they don't share space with peacocks) and I'm not even going to get into the face painting and extra chance to dress up. It's going to be a good night.

Friday, October 16, 2009

5 Questions: ♥ unique, ♥ handmade

Mitsy of ArtMind is one of my most favourite Etsy artists. My wish list has more than one of her fabulous creations on it; some of them are pictured here.

I first came across her in the Etsy Virtual Labs where she was sharing her 99 Feelings project. I was so inspired by her feelings and so excited by them I was sharing them with anyone who came within ten meters of my computer. I started following her blog to see how her Feelings project was progressing, and soon I was dropping in, on a sometimes daily basis just to see what was new. Her collection of feelings has a strength to it that really speaks about emotions and how we relate to them.

In addition to her feelings, Mitsy is also adding new an exciting items to her shop all the time. From post cards and magnets to 3D felt greeting cards and even a new secret project. Mitsy is one of those people who seems to always be creating and someone who I would love to emulate just because of that creative lifestyle.

Mitsy can be found on Flickr, where you can see her works in progress, check out some of her tutorials and her favourites. You can see what she's tweeting on Twitter and get more of all of the above and then some on her blog. Read on to see what tidbits ArtMind tossed my way:

What has surprised you most about selling your creations online?

Definitely the feedback I get on my work. The response to my '99-feelings'-project has been amazing and I'm delighted to know that it touches the hearts of many.

When people purchase a feeling, they often tell me why they buy it, and many of those stories just give me goosebumps. It's also fun to know that sometimes people write me to tell how they feel about a certain texture or that they feel completely different than what I named the feeling and I love it when people do that.

It has been such a personal journey that every texture can feel different for other people, so when people actually do tell me how they feel about a certain feeling, I'm happy to know that they are trying to feel in their own way...

What is your ultimate creator’s block cure?

Without a doubt: nature!

As many artists I suppose... nature is just healing in many, many ways. It inspires and clears my head.

What got you started?

Anything can get me started!

I get very easily distracted and you will find me doing one thing and another thing the next minute. I blame it on my unquiet mind - it's always in search of new and exciting things to do.

My hands can't sit still, nor can my brain. It tires me sometimes but it also makes me happy to be able to do it all!

Do you have any influences that guide your work?

When you look at my shop at the moment, there is really only one answer to this question: babuschka's... It all started with an assignment at the academie of fine arts where we were asked to make a selfportrait. I thought that it was easiest done by using the shape of a babuschka and since then I just love it.

Rock, Paper or Scissors?

Paper! Because it's vulnerable & strong at the same time. It can tear but also cover. It is flexible and can be colorful. It's a lot of things I am I think...

As always, if you've seen something you like or simply have to have click on any of the images to find out more. As always, your thoughts and comments are more than welcome, they'll put a smile on my face. If you want to make me jump for joy, head over to ArtMind's shop and buy one of her fab creations, I swear I'll do a little dance with my very poor robot moves thrown in, extra special to make the Peanut laugh.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

I want I want

Oh boy, do I ever want but I'll be pleased for whoever wins.

Mrs. B is still going strong with her 31 day celebration and there are so many fantastic things up for grabs that I just have to put my name in again and again.

Today there are 5 giveaways chock full of spooktastic items and that's not even including the haunted blog tour and guest blogger. There have been so many great participants that my follow list is growing as we speak.

Go check out Mrs. B here to see what's on for today

This is how we spent our Thanksgiving:
getting dinner ready, playing outside and enjoying
our feast with friends and family

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