The Torn Edges of Life Are Beautiful
Mixing the bits and pieces of art and life
You know that saying "stuck between a rock and a hard place"? Well that is how I feel with respect to the teachers strike. I get the issues, I really do. I have friends who are teachers, I have volunteered in classrooms, I have contributed to school based fundraising projects and I have kids in the public education system. The bottom line is schools need more funding from our government. I have no solution to offer. Two parties battling it out like a bitter divorce is not going to solve any problems either. I have written letters and signed petitions. I have even gone to a rally. Our public education is in the shitter and there is no toilet paper to be passed under the door.
In British Columbia a strike by teachers never seems to solve anything. We simply find ways to put a princess bandaid over the problem and it holds for a little while, then it falls off and we are back to fighting about money and resources again. I wonder if anyone in government has walked through our public school hallways without media in tow? I know various members of government have been but it's always with that perfectly captured photograph that is suppose to make you think all is well. I wonder if they could walk through the hallways of inner city schools and see how creative teachers have to be in order to find resources to create their lessons and count how many kids per textbook or how much duct tape is being used to hold the textbook together? I wonder if anyone in government has ever asked a teacher how much they have spent, on average, for their classrooms? My biggest question though is whether anyone in our government has ever tried to hold the attention of a classroom with 25 students which will include three ESL students and one kid with a disability that interrupts the lesson several times a minute on their own? I wonder if this government has ever stood in the hallways of a school during lunch to see who actually has a lunch. Has anyone in government ever asked a student what he or she wants and needs to help them do better in school? In the event of a natural disaster and our kids are at school it is our teachers who we will rely on to keep our kids safe. We, as parents trust teachers with our most valuable assets...our children.
Children with learning issues need help. It's hard to get your child help, really hard.. like, really really hard. Homework becomes a battle as it has been put on the parents to pick up where they left off in class. I have had countless teachers try and teach me math so that I could then teach my child the math lesson at home. My math ability is less than poor so the blank stare they get from me is slightly funny for my kids to watch especially since it diverts the attention away from them. The bottom line is unless you are homeschooling, parents shouldn't have to teach their kids. In fact, they shouldn't because it often creates a war.
In the Coquitlam School District they laid off a boat load of teachers, special education teachers, counsellors and they annihilated the librarians, cafeterias and bus services. I was never a fan of library classes when I was in school. Learning about the dewy decimal system was dry as hell but for the love of god kids need libraries in schools. Our school library was the only way I got to read many of Judy Blume's books growing up. Are You There God, It's Me Margaret had me glued to the pages. And counsellors, our youth need their school counsellors at all levels of education. I think they need them now more than ever before. How is it even possible for a school to not have one or two? In this fast paced everything at your finger tips world our kids need a place, a safe haven to retreat too and sometimes that is their school counsellor's office. Had it not been for the school counsellor my son would not currently be getting the testing done that he needs ~ well... it has been started and then the strike happened so now we wait. What I am getting at is if this battle is truly about kids and their futures then we really need to think about what is needed to fix the problems at hand and stripping kids of their resources to save money isn't the answer. Our government and the teachers union really need to ask what is best for our future and yes, that answer will probably cost money BUT our future is worth it, right? It is an expensive world we live in but what if that kid in public school right now has the answer to fix the economy of the future? What if that kid never gets the chance.....
I won some advertising space in a retail trade magazine that featured several of my cards back in the early spring. Because of that I had to scramble and get an image together to go with the ad that was being placed. Soooo I had an impromptu product shoot of some new products. Here are a few of the photos.
This above display just kinda happened and wasn't intentional at all. I had just put the cards down for a minute and thought they looked really cool with the flowers I had in a glass vase behind them.
All the cards in these next few shots are brand new to the shop. I think my new favourites is the one with the white daisy and 'enjoy your journey'.
This new lined notebook is a new favourite of mine. I just love how it turned out. Life truly is a journey and I am so grateful for each and every breath I get to enjoy. Paired with these two cards these three items would make a fabulous "just because" gift. The white daisy card would look amazing framed and so you really are giving two gifts along with a card.
'create your playlist' is another brand new lined notebook now available. Again, super awesome gift for someone who loves to create their own playlist.
I am quite liking the white daisy card and the more I look at it the more it reminds me I have to finish and seal the original. I think I will make the print of this image available too and upload it for some products as it would look awesome on a tote bag! Soo.... stay tuned!
Recently I finished the book Finding Me: A Decade of Darkness, a Life Reclaimed. This is the story of Michelle Knight who was held the longest by Ariel Castro. As hard as this book was to ingest, the overwhelming tone of this book was salvation and hope. What Michelle endured during her captivity was beyond horrific. No one should ever have to go through pain so deep. Yet, Michelle looks at this time as something she had to go through in order to be all that she is at this moment. She has an extraordinarily positive outlook given her childhood and her years in captivity. This is truly a book of sheer gratitude amongst the most horrible of circumstances. It is a token of the strength of the human spirit and the will to live. Michelle deserves nothing but the sun shining on her for eternity.
I imagine after going through trauma you see life in a different light. I find many of us go through our lives without noticing the little things. The things that give us strength, the things that make us keep going. We just amble as the clock ticks. We fail to see our inner light that allows us to shine. We instead hide it due to fear. Sometimes we don't know what will make us shine. Sometimes there are whisperings of what it is we wish we could do but trying to figure out how to do it and what it is exactly we are suppose to be doing seems far fetched. I can fully relate to that one.
Life is short and way too short to be stuck without joy. We follow what others are doing to the point of habit and neglect the whisperings of our own true selves. There is only one YOU so remember to shine like only you can each and every day!
Every now and again I feel like giving a gift or mailing off a card just because. Just because I feel like it and want to make someone smile. Just because I can. Just because it fills me with so much happiness. I love doing stuff...just because.
The original art work (without the words) was gifted to someone special to me. They didn't know it was being made. They had no inclination they were going to be getting mail from me. In fact, I hadn't spoken to this person in several months. I just felt like doing it. It is the ultimate in just because gift.
When was the last time you mailed off a card or gave someone a card just because? Now's your chance.
This card can be found by clicking HERE and then scroll to the bottom.
There has been a few things going on around here lately!
A new shop has been added to the mix. On the Farm Country Country Market and Gifts is located in beautiful Squamish, BC. It is a garden centre with not only beautiful flowers but a little market section filled with organic foods and grain fed meats. So.... when you are on your way to Whistler be sure to stop in and check out this beautiful garden shop/market and pick up a few of my cards too!
If you would like to see my cards or notebooks in a shop near you, go into the store and let the owner, manager or buyer know. Just as you would with getting your favourite food item at a grocery store, shop owners need to know what their customers want to buy.
A big box of cards and notebooks was set to Utah last week. Willow Canyon Outdoor Company has been restocked with a great selection of goods. Lots of notebooks, agendas and cards to choose from. It's so fun to be able to provide my art to stores in places I have never been before. I hope that one day I will get the chance to visit. I am so appreciative for the opportunity to share my art and I hope to have many more shops across the U.S. in the near future.
I love taking the tote bags with my art to the grocery store. They always get a comment or two and because I am me I generally will just say "thank you" when someone compliments them so they often have no clue it's my art on the bags. The grocery packers love them because they are so sturdy and hold a lot of stuff. I love them because they are fun and easy to carry with ~ that long strap it makes them great for hanging off my shoulders.
If you are looking to scoop bags with my art on them they can be purchased through Society6. They often have free shipping and stuff too so watch for it.
In the last couple of years I have been lucky enough to be contacted by a few television shows looking to use my art as part of their backgrounds for various scenes. Looks like I am going to have to start watching the show "Intruders" as a few of my cards will be used in background scenes for that show. Fun stuff!!
This new card design can be given to someone going on a vacation, huge life altering trip of a lifetime or someone going through a personal journey through life. In other words, it doesn't just mean for someone hoping on a plane and touring around.
Life is a journey and we all have our own personal stories to tell. Through photographs, blog posts, Facebook updates we are celebrating and sharing our journeys. When we start something new, change paths or try to re-create the impossible in our lives the journey can be difficult for some. It's the process of travelling down that road, although difficult at times, in the end when we look back we see the journey we took.
So....whether it's a road trip, plane trip, boating trip or walking this path called life...enjoy the journey. Stop, look around and enjoy....
Sometimes walking to the mailbox can be a journey all on its own. Give someone the gift of having something in their mailbox other than bills. This card can be purchased by clicking here.
*NOTE: If you wish to use one of my © images for your publication, permission must be given before using the image(s) for any purpose. Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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