I just got back from a short holiday in Calgary, and while I enjoyed my time in the city, it’s good to be home again. I actually grew up in a town on the outskirts of Calgary, so it was strangely like “coming home”, but also different than I remembered, since it’s been 10 years since I moved away!
My friend Chantelle and I took a trip to the city for a few days to visit a friend of ours who is working at Heritage Park for the summer. We had a great time visiting the park, as it has been close to 15 years since I last visited, and Chantelle had never visited. It was fun day stepping back in time, not only to the history of Canada in the 1800’s, but also stepping back in time to my own childhood! The best thing about a historical park is really that nothing changes- the one room schoolhouse was exactly as I remembered it from when I was in Grade Three. 🙂
I wanted to share some photos from the trip right away, before I get distracted and move onto other things. I have shared some of the photos I took on my phone already on instagram, but I also took a lot of photos with my camera, which I’ll share here.
Today’s post includes the photos of my outfit at Heritage Park. These are the only outfit photos I got while I was away, and they were taken at the Hudson Bay Trading Post replica. I look completely out of place in my 1950’s styled outfit, but there were no crowds of people here, so it was a good place to take some photos.
In the photos, does my hair seem to have a mind of it’s own, despite being styled that morning? Yes! Is my blouse rumpled, disheveled and coming untucked? Yes! Is my necklace crooked? Yes! Are my feet tired of walking and my shoulders sore from carrying around my heavy purse (with camera inside)? Yes! Is the sun in my eyes, and casting strange and harsh shadows all over? Yes! Do these photos represent real life, where I am completely living in the moment, and having a great time spent with friends? A resounding yes!
Even though these aren’t great fashion plate blogger photos, they are a great memory of a fun time spent at Heritage Park, and I would much rather spend a fun time with friends then go about worrying whether my necklace was straight.
Regarding the outfit details, there’s that homesewn tan skirt again, but this time paired with my brown lace up flats, a new thrifted white peasant blouse top, a stack of Indian bangles from Ten Thousand Villages and my new purse from Top Vintage. I really debated purchasing this purse, since online shopping and I don’t mix well, but in the end I decided that since it is basically the purse I have been searching for my entire life, I would go ahead and get it. After a small hiccup, which was resolved very nicely by their customer service, I can say that I am very glad that I did get it. It was an investment bag for sure, but the timeless and vintage shape suits my style, and it goes with almost everything I own. Although, for future reference, I will not bring it on a holiday (even though I love it!) with the thought of being able to carry my camera around in it. It was simply too heavy to have on a holiday even with the shoulder strap, and it was a real pain (both figuratively and literally) to lug around for three days with no relief. Next time I will bring a cross body bag, or a backpack. But aside from that detail, it was a great holiday, and I am sure that the purse will serve me well for purposes other than vacations!
Have you ever visited Heritage Park, or any other kind of historical village? Do you worry about your outfits, and getting outfit photos while you are on your holidays?
This post has been a long time coming. Today I am pleasedhappythrilled ecstatic to announce that I have now opened an Art Shop! This was one of my major goals for this year, and although I was originally hoping to do it in January, I suppose that July is the next best thing. 😉
I have talked here on the blog before about how I have started selling my artwork at local art shows and sales, and how I hoped to start selling online as well. Actually starting this blog was originally supposed to be Step #1 in starting to “get my name out there”. I don’t know if it’s really accomplished that at all, as I don’t post very much artwork, and mainly focus on vintage and ethical fashion here, with the odd photography post thrown in. Though the blog has turned into something other than an art blog; that’s OK as I do really enjoy it as a creative outlet for everything else.
Anyways. Once I accomplished the scary Step #1 of starting a blog, and then the intimidating Step #2 of selling and showing at local art shows, it was time to tackle the seemingly impossible Step #3 of creating an online shop.
I am the sort of person who procrastinates and over thinks things. 🙁 The more I think about something and hesitate from jumping in with both feet right away, the greater the chance is that I will never actually do it. And that is exactly what happened with the plan of opening an online shop. I was originally planning on opening an Etsy shop in January, but ran into some technical difficulties and ended up not being able to go that route. After much research, I discovered Print On Demand, and decided that this would be a good way for me to start selling online. Part of me really wanted to join the ranks of Etsy sellers and do the whole printing myself, and wrapping up packaging and all that fun stuff. However, logistically it just didn’t work out, for many reasons, one being that, since I live in Canada, the shipping prices are astronomical. Choosing to sell through a Print On Demand shop out of the USA will, I hope, be better for customers. I have decided to sell through Society 6, as they often have sales, and offer promotions like free shipping, and most importantly, they do a high quality Giclée print.
I now have an “Art Shop” tab in the upper right corner of my header. Well, actually the shop tab has been there for a while, there just hasn’t been anything on that page 🙁 But I now have an actualshop, so if you click through, or click here, it will take you to my products page, which then links over to Society 6. It has taken me a lot longer than I thought it would to get my artworks ready to sell, so right now I only have three pieces up. However, I decided to open the shop anyways, otherwise I honestly think I would never get it opened! Society 6 also offers products other than art prints, so even though I am beginning with just art prints, and framed art prints, I might offer other products in the future. Stationery, notebooks or phone cases perhaps? I have some other pieces that I have finished and which I am planning on adding to the art shop as I find the time. (Seriously it takes a lot longer than I think it will!)
I will periodically update here on the blog, when I have added new items, or when there are special promotions and I will continue sharing my artwork here. But, fear not- this is not turning into an art blog! It will remain what it has always been- Life, Art, and Style. A little bit of this and that, since I can’t stay in a “niche’ to save my life 😉
Oh, and I have also started a new Instagram account solely dedicated to my artwork, illustration and photography. I would love it if you would follow me there, and if you would like to, you can find me at: @theartyologist_studio.
I’m really excited about this new venture, so thank-you all for reading through this post, and for letting me share my exciting news with you! 🙂
I am beginning to think that the second weekend of June is marked for rain. For the second year in a row now, I have planned to host a Ladies Garden Tea, in our backyard, and though we have had sun in the days leading up to, and sun in the hours and days that follow, during the hours of the party itself, it has rained. We have decided that it will now be called simply, “The Ladies Tea”, and have given up on hoping that gardens will have anything to do with it at all!
I’m not too worried about it though, because this year we planned to host it indoors, and made our preparations accordingly, so there was no last minute scramble to move the party indoors when the day dawned with grey clouds. An added benefit of holding the party indoors, is that even if it doesn’t rain, you sometimes must contend with wind, sun in your eyes, sunburn, flies in the lemonade and mosquitoes that refuse to leave you alone. By setting up the party indoors, you avoid all these problems, and you can always open the windows to let the fresh air in (and the bugs out) 🙂
We changed things around this year, (because we were thinking ahead for once) and set up the sideboard and a table along the side of the living room, so the food and drinks would be close at hand. It worked so much better, rather than having the food in the kitchen like we did last year, as people didn’t have to break up the party in order to go in search of sweets. Last year we had so many leftovers of desserts that hardly even got touched, and this year we had very few leftovers. On second thought, maybe we should have the food in the kitchen again next year; I wouldn’t have minded a few leftovers. . . 😉
Since the party was supposed to be a Garden Tea, it had to have a summery and “gardeny” feeling to it. So, the morning of the party we went in search of flowers for bouquets. Last year we had peonies, but this year the season is late and so the peonies had not started to bloom. However, we managed to catch the very last of the dark purple lilacs. Two days before the party, I thought to myself, “The lilacs are still in bloom, and should stay so until the party”, but the very next day when I looked at them again, they had started to wilt, turn brown and fall off the hedges. Only one day before the party!!! We thought that we wouldn’t be able to get any for a bouquet, but fortunately the dark purple ones still had flowers. They were falling fast though, and if you even looked at the bouquet, I think that petals were dropping off. We got two lovely bouquets though, and paired the purple flowers with Caragana branches. Caragana is a rather strange bouquet material, but I love how sculptural and fluid the bouquets turned out to be, and yellow and purple is such a lovely colour combination. For the rest of the smaller bouquets, which we placed on the tables, we gathered wildflowers and weeds, and came up with enough material to make several miniature bouquets. All in all, the room did have a rather summery and festive feeling to it, despite the rain.
And of course, the rain didn’t dampen the spirits of those who attended the party! There were sixteen of us, some of whom were new acquaintances who came with friends, and we all had a lovely afternoon of tea and sweets and conversation. I can’t wait for next year!
Do you enjoy tea parties? Have you ever hosted an event? And have you ever been rained out?
Oh! Could it be the postman at the door? I am not expecting anything, yet I can’t be sure. . .
There among the parcels, is a letter addressed to me! Folded and sealed- who is it from? What could it be?
It is poetry written in letters so fair, with sweet phrases meant only for us two to share. . .
And though he is absent, his words are so dear; I whisper them softly and he seems to be near . . .
So here among the garden hedge, only the flowers and me,
I read those secrets that will secrets remain, and remember them pleasantly.
This, dear readers is an exciting day for me, because this is the post that almost wasn’t.
I had an idea to dress up and do a themed photo shoot last month, since the lilacs were in full and glorious bloom and I wanted to take advantage of it somehow (and also I haven’t done a “dress up” post in a while). However, despite the fact that I thought we would be able to get some pretty fun photographs, everything seemed to be against me and my sister, who was helping to take the photos. We battled the sun shining where it oughtn’t to have, the attack of the killer mosquitoes, the hot day that had not yet cooled off, despite the fact that it was heading into evening, and the gale force winds that came up just as soon as we stepped outside. We conquered the elements, but once we managed to get a few photographs, my camera battery died. So, fortunately we were able to switch to using my sister’s camera, but then my memory card which has been having problems lately, started saying that it was full (when it wasn’t) and so we kept having to delete outtakes as we went along (which you are not supposed to do directly from your camera). Well, finally we managed to get our photographs, and we weren’t too mosquito bitten either!
We looked over the photographs, and I saved them off of my memory card. Then, I did a bit of research to see what was causing the problem with my card. I discovered that it probably needed to be reformatted on my computer and not just my camera. So I erased the memory card clean with the disk utility on my computer, and then reformatted it on my camera for good measure. Every step of the way, the computer and camera asked me “Are you SURE you want to delete all photos/data on this card”. I kept clicking “yes”. Well, you can probably see where I am going with this story. . .
I was visiting my friend a couple of weeks ago, and wanted to show her the photos, but when I went to pull up the lilacs photos on my external harddrive- they weren’t there. They weren’t there! That was one of those moments where your heart drops right out of your chest and settles somewhere down around your feet. I searched through everysinglefolder; even the folders from nine years ago, but the photos were not there. I looked through the folders on my computer too, in case somehow they had got dropped in a different location. I was pretty heartbroken over it (as much as you can be about photographs, I mean) but then I just had to accept that they were gone forever. Remember how I erased that memory card?
Well, once I got home, my sister suggested that I look in my iphoto folders. It didn’t make any sense that they would be there, because I don’t use iphoto all that often, and I always upload my images straight to my harddrive for safekeeping. I had already looked before, in my recent iphoto folder uploads, but they weren’t there. However, when I looked under “events”, what should appear before my eyes but the very photos I had despaired of never seeing again! I didn’t tear up when I thought I had lost the photos, but I did when I found them again! My sister can vouch for my excitement upon finding them!
So, I have no idea how those photos were mislaid and managed to find their way to the iphoto folders, but I am so glad that they did. And the moral of the story today is, don’t change up your routine and put photos in one place, when you always put them somewhere else. And, double and triple and quadruple check that you have your photographs saved, BEFORE you erase your memory card clean!
Have you ever lost photographs due to a technical error, or were you able to get them back somehow?
(ps- I don’t have a “him” in my life right now, so this is all entirely make believe, but wouldn’t it be sweet to read love letters amongst the lilacs? Also, that “letter” is a handwritten poem I found online, called “Night” written for “Miss Mary L. Jacob’s Album” by “A.G. Archer Henry”. So who knows, maybe it was a “love letter” after all?)
I saw a while ago that Victoria from Ruffles and Grace took part in a “Book Lover’s Tag”, and though I wasn’t personally tagged in it, it sounded like a lot of fun, so I decided to join in as well. So read on, to find out some of my favourite books, reading habits, and what’s on my reading list.
1. Name a book you’re embarrassed to say you haven’t read yet.
Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens. This one is a hefty piece of literature, at 826 pages and 2.5″ thick. I bought it two years ago, and had originally planned to read it aloud, (we started last summer, but then stopped only a few chapters in). I really do need to just start reading it again. I don’t particularly enjoy reading Dickens, as it’s so wordy, but I do always enjoy his stories. (And I really want to watch the movie, but I have to read the book first! I don’t know why, I just do.)
2. What is the strangest thing you’ve ever used as a bookmark?
I often don’t use bookmarks- as I never seem to have one around when I need it, and sometimes I don’t even have a scrap of paper or other item that will serve as one. I never commit the grievous crime of dog-earing pages (never!!!) but I do often commit the less terrible crime of placing books upside down- though I promise it is only temporarily! I don’t leave books like that for days on end- only until I find something to mark my page. Often I simply take a mental note of which page or chapter I’m in. This sometimes has dubious results, because I can’t remember what page I was on, and I end up flipping pages to find my spot.
3. Look at your bookshelf. What’s the first book you see with a yellow spine?
A biography of Jane Austen by David Cecil, called A Portrait of Jane Austen.
4. If you could have one new book from a deceased author, who would it be?
Jane Austen’s unfinished novel Sanditon. I have read the few chapters that she wrote of it, and I really wish that she had been able to finish it, as her works are always so witty and entertaining.
5. Name an author who deserves more readership.
Lynn Austin. I just reread her book Hidden Places and I loved it all over again. Her stories have such great depth, and are woven with themes such as secrets and misunderstandings, and haunted pasts, which her characters are confronted with and brought forward into forgiveness and reconciliation.
6. Bookmark or random piece of paper?
As outlined in #2- a piece of random anything. . . . or not 🙂
7. Can you stop anywhere in a book or do you have to finish the chapter?
I can stop anywhere, though I prefer to not stop at all and just read the entire book through. This doesn’t usually work though, because you know, life. . .
8. One book at a time or several?
I often dedicate myself to reading one novel at a time, as I don’t like interrupting the storyline, but I will have several non-fiction books going on at the same time. For example, right now I am reading The Greco-Roman World but, as it is a bit dry, I am breaking it up with other books. Since it is a history textbook, it doesn’t really matter if I read it through without interruption or not.
9. Do you read ahead or skip pages?
I’ve never understood why people skip ahead, because it wouldn’t make any sense- you would have isolated scenes with no context, wouldn’t you? You wouldn’t know what had built up to that moment, and it would be confusing, I think. So definitely reading as I go along.
10. Breaking the spine or keeping it like new?
I don’t purposely break the spine, but I don’t try to perfectly preserve the book either. My main concern is in reading it!
11. What books do you regret reading?
There are a couple of books I do regret reading, because I didn’t realize there would be inappropriate content, until suddenly I was right in the middle of those scenes. As it stands now, I read very few secular fiction books, because I don’t want to have to worry about what I might come across. Or I try to find reviews on the books before I read them.
12. On average, how many books do you read per year?
When I was in my teens. I used to read 50-70 books each year and I kept track of each book, but in the last few years I have slowed down a lot. Things get in the way- hobbies, the internet, being a grown up. . . So I would say that I probably read somewhere around 20-30 books a year now? Probably somewhere around two books each month- although this month I have already read or re-read five books, so maybe I’m picking up the pace again!
13. What book can you read hundreds of times and never get tired of?
The Bible, because you can actually read it hundreds of times and never get tired of it. But, for books written by man, and not the Scriptures, which is what I’m sure this question is actually referring to, well there are just too many to choose from.
I have read Jane Eyre several times now, and there is just so much depth to that story. It is one of my all time favourite books; I admire the character of Jane, and I love the sections where she and Rochester have their discussions. I will definitely read it again.
Really, there are a lot of books that I read every few years, and the greatest thing about having poor reading comprehension (I’ve got to find the silver lining here) is that I can actually read a book several years later, and it’s all new to me. Seriously. I read Murder on the Orient Express, by Agatha Christie and I couldn’t remember if I had read it before or not- until I got the end!
14. What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned from a book?
I don’t tend to really learn lessons, as in “the moral of the story” from books, so for this I will choose a non-fiction book, which actually taught me something and that would be Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion, by Elizabeth Cline. I recommend this book to everyone.
15. What is the most recent book you’ve read?
I just finished re-reading Anna and Her Daughters by D.E Stevenson. I love this book, and have read it a few times now. It is such a lovely old novel from 1958 that we inherited from my Grandma, and it’s not really about Anna and her daughters, so much as it is about one particular daughter Jane, who is narrating the story. . . anyways it’s just a nice story, and it features an attic bedroom wallpapered with a pattern of birds, so really what’s not to love?
16. What quote from any book will you never forget? Why is it significant?
‘”There was a real railway accident,” said Aslan softly. “Your father and mother and all of the you are- as you used to call it in the Shadowlands- dead. The term is over: the holidays have begun. The dream is ended: this is the morning.”
And as He spoke He no longer looked to them like a lion; but the things that began to happen after that were so great and beautiful that I cannot write them. And for us this is the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on forever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.’
These are the final paragraphs of The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis from the Chronicles of Narnia. I read this book when I was a child, and this description of Heaven really just touched me, and I have never forgotten it all these years. (Though, yes, I did have to go look it up, as I am not able to quote it verbatim!)
17. How many books do you own?
Yikes, an estimate would be somewhere probably around 200? If I counted all of my sewing books, novels, fashion books, and my L.M Montgomery and Agatha Christie collections. . . And let’s not start on how many books my entire family owns, or we’ll be here all day. . .
18. In the past year, what is the greatest book you’ve read?
I can’t remember all of the books I’ve read in the past year. I did finally, after fours years on my list, get around to reading The Blue Castle by L.M Montgomery for the first time though. What was I waiting for!? This was a very good book. I always enjoy her books, and the soft and romantic world in which they abide.
So there you go. This was a fun post, and, if you want to take part in this book lover’s tag, consider yourself tagged!
What’s on your reading list right now? Have you read any of these books before? What are your favourite books? (if you can narrow it down!)