Monthly Archives: August 2011

the best camera

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the best camera is the one that’s with you.
images aren’t about dynamic range and mega-pixels, they’re about stories and moments.
~ chase jarvis

that quote struck me the first time i heard it. a very thorough friend was researching his upcoming camera purchase and shared it with me. even if you have the whizziest of cameras, what good is it if it’s collecting dust at home? interestingly, that is almost exactly what has happened in my house. i’ve become so accustomed to using my iphone as primary memory capture that i leave my snazzy camera at home…someplace…i think. i’ve actually even found that i prefer the photos that come out of my phone a lot more often than i do the canon.

another office friend made a crack a few weeks ago, saying that every photo someone (in that case, me) takes with the phone is instantly forgotten and never looked at again. when i put up a fuss, he challenged me asking when was the last time i’d looked at any of mine. in response, i flipped through my photo library and, yes, i had looked at some of them in the recent past. a lot of others brought a smile to my face as pleasant reminders. he was right, though. yes, i love the photos from my camera, but i don’t really ever get to enjoy them. and, as chase jarvis also likes to say…

what good is a picture if you can’t share it?

after perusing the catalogue at hand, allow me to share a few that i found.

baby bunny

mid-summer roses – they smelled amaaazing

jimmy eat world

first signs of spring

my very favourite view ❤

the bottom line, the lesson in the sentiment, for me, at least, is to use what’s at hand and make the best of what i’ve got. even when there might be a better way to do things, doing the best i can with what i’ve got is better than missing out on something entirely. sometimes the imperfection in the experience is exactly what makes it special. i try to look on the bright side as often as possible and this whole the best camera movement supports that decision entirely.

an experiment: as pointed out in the video, we all have cameras with us virtually all the time. why not make use of that? here, a photo taken each day by yours truly.

needlework

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my latest obsession.

i spent the weekend stitching, hooking and when i couldn’t do either (like when kevin banned my supplies from the lacrosse game we attended,) thinking about yarn, knitting needles and crochet hooks. i’ve dabbled in needlework in the past, but i’ve never really followed through and learned any of it thoroughly. my return to the needle craft was fuelled by my friend katelyn‘s proud tweet about her completed crochet blanket. my previous dabbling has resulted in a treasure chest of beautiful yarns and, as the only granddaughter, i inherited an expansive collection of needles and hooks. excited by k’s enthusiasm and crafty work, i picked up the goodies and a book and voilà!

by the light of the television – multi-tasking!

for the experienced knitter, that little patch of yarn is child’s play, but for me, it was learning. while i’d mastered a knit stitch, i’d never attempted the purl. and there it is – proof! knit. purl. knit. purl.

amid my raging knit-fest on saturday, we wandered in to a book store where i finally found a needlework related book with my name written all over it. or, well, you know what i mean.

crochet!

i already have the other stitch ‘n bitch books and they’re all pretty funky, but they’re knit exclusive. to date, i’ve only dabbled in either craft, crochet or knit, and have completed a couple of the projects, but tonight i dove into some crochet learnin’. hooks: points, throats, shafts, thumb rests, handles; yarns: plant based, animal based, synthetics; weights: fingering, sport, worsted, chunky, extra-bulky; balls, skeins, hanks… next up: action!

celebration

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life is good, but it is also fast. a day spent doing unremarkable tasks or hiding away and killing time (sometimes without meaning to) turns into days, turns into weeks and then months and before you know it, it’s september. you know that quote credited to eleanor roosevelt,”do one thing every day that scares you”? this is where it hits me hardest. essentially, in the grand scheme of things and considering the fast pace of the world today, doing one noteworthy thing every day is a goal enough. this year, i’ve considered trying to do something to put each and very day on the map. success is debatable. i have been inspired to do more remarkable things, but daily? that’s pretty lofty.

since it’s hard enough to make every day count, it’s easy for me to understand how celebration has gone by the wayside. organization is a challenge, yes, but sometimes it’s tough to even just remember! i hate that. what i hate even more is that i used to be good at remembering important things and i used to be good at making them count. now, as a result of life, living the stuff that matters has taken a back seat.

after hosting my cousin’s baby shower last weekend, i am totally down with party planning. by my definition, a party doesn’t need to include a ton of people, but people should be made to feel good by effort and acknowledgement on the part of those who love them. everyone should feel like royalty some of the time. especially driven, i now have two projects on the go: my dad’s birthday and a secret little congratulatory festivity for the man in my life.

stuff happens and all of it should be noted and celebrated. birthdays are meaningful no matter what anyone says. i am taking it upon myself to get back to the way things were: birthday parties, christmas cards, easter baskets and valentines are in my future and perhaps i will make them a part of yours, too. ❤

and, speaking of parties and the baby shower we threw…some photos to display our work. meticulous attention to detail courtesy of sj, my mother.

the invitations we made (before we knew we were celebrating a girl)


crafted by sj, a sign to welcome little parker

prizes for games and a little ticket draw we crafted for guests

lots of pretty flowers as decorations

those were *my* blocks and, yes, *i* was responsible for the artwork on them

“pat it and prick it and mark it with a p…”

the spread

sj and the sleepy guest of honour

thank you cards we made for mom – we chose to match the pre-girl revelation colour theme

three simple steps

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yes, i’ve recently adopted a do one thing at a time policy for life. while i’m still learning to 1. slow down and 2. focus, i can already see the benefits. i’m calmer and clearer and it feels pretty good. i diverted from that plan a little, however, when, on impulse, i grabbed a piece of note paper and a pen and jotted down three priorities for the time being. the way i look at it, one thing at a time is the way i (want to) operate while tending to my three distinct goals. (i’m not sure about what happens inside your head, but it sells in mine. :P) i didn’t take time to think about them, i didn’t agonize over goal setting. just like magic, they appeared to me out of thin air. (in the middle of an all day online training session – the most inspiring stuff comes at the oddest times, doesn’t it?!?)

  1. be nice. okay, i’m no cruella deville and this isn’t about being polite. my idea is to choose one person every day and do something nice for them: write a note, give a gift, do a favour. not so much strangers, but the people who make my world go around. birthdays aren’t the only time to show my love (and, let’s face it, even when a birthday rolls around, my recent track record isn’t showing such great stats.)
  2. yoga. inside my lurking an avid yogini. she’s just hiding behind a post somewhere. for the love of all that is focus, calm and flexibility, i need to dial her in again.
  3. simplify. the belief that one can’t be clear with clutter all around is pretty straight-forward. while some people are born with that knowledge, i’m just getting around to getting it now. when i refer to clutter, i mean it in every sense, namely: physical clutter (at home)  and emotional clutter (in relationships.) i have a lot of junk kicking around. i need to alleviate that and for at least the next few weeks, i’m making the effort in the hopes of progress and making simplicity a learned habit. i even found a great post that combines the wrath on clutter with a dash of priority number two. “the more stuff we acquire on a physical basis, the more space it takes up in our mind.” word.
i’ve been a lot about goal setting lately, as you may have noticed. i have absolutely no reason to complain about my life, but i also have no reason to suspect it couldn’t be even more blissful.
“change is the only constant. hanging on is the only sin.” ~denise mccluggage

comments: on!

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i only went (slightly) public with this blog in the past 24 hours, but already the response from my darling friends has been phenomenally supportive. to each and every one of you, thank you. whether you know it or not, you have made it possible for me to live and to grow through the things that i have this summer.

i’ve long talked about making a return to blogging and, oh, how some of you know i have tried! i have lost count of all the different urls and hosts and angles and attempts i have made to get back to the place where i was happy to write, however frivolously, but freely, on a daily basis and without a care in the world. bex and i often wax nostalgic about the good old days and plot our comeback, but somehow, life just always seems to get in the way. on the bright side, i think every conversation brings us closer to constructing our paths and one step closer to embarking on the trail.

one hesitation of mine has been the existence of comments. had you visited sometime before the evening yesterday, you may have noticed that my comments were turned off. while most feedback can be filed in the it is what it is category, there is always some that can be considered, quite simplistically, good or bad. some comments have the power to lift a writer to the clouds, leaving them giddy in the glow camaraderie or understanding, while the evil stepsister to said belle of the ball, some comments cut straight to (and through) the heart. as someone who can be ultra-sensitive to the actions of others, i have found myself upset by the careless words of others more often than i would like to admit.

i don’t want to give the illusion that i have trouble dealing with criticism or disagreement, nor have i ever been outright attacked online. people can just be so insensitive and in the forum of an online community (for, given the opportunity for public contribution, isn’t that what a blog really is?) it can be a huge challenge to understand the context in which not only a post, but also a response to it is written.

my greatest disappointment, and probably the scar that cut me deep enough that i have shied from comments ever since, came on a post i had written in what i considered to be one of the most heartfelt voices i’d ever used for public consumption. a friend who i am sure meant no harm was the first to comment and she chose to say something completely trivial and entirely unrelated to the topic on which i had written. that she’d completely disregarded the way i’d left myself vulnerable bothered me more than any assault on my ideas might have. i know the hurt wasn’t intentional and i know i was probably hyper-sensitive about it, but i still remember. and given that, for the time being, i am using this space essentially (though, not necessarily intentionally) as therapy, i’m a little more exposed than i am used to being.

thankfully, sweet thais had the good grace to reach out and talk me down and out and open me up. she’s right in pointing out that each comment is full of support and beauty and, at the very least, a lesson. and, after all, what’s a blog without the community? xo

giving good phone

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i’m a little embarrassed to admit (sorry, laur, but you know i adore you!) that i read kelly cutrone’s book if you have to cry, go outside long enough to find the one paragraph that resonated with me. unfortunately, it was way at the very end of the book.

I fear our modern loss of human contact. We’re addicted to devices and programs that make us feel like we’re connecting when in fact we’re just becoming more and more isolated and more and more silent. We use Facebook, texting, and email as substitutes for actual human contact; we even call each other’s voice mails to avoid actually speaking to each other! And as we get more and more used to electronic means of communication, our senses receive less and less stimulation and our interactions are stripped of their humanness. Our tribes dissolve even further. I believe this has made us more neurotic and more violent and even more depressed.

i go through periods when i think about stuff like this. i once read that the majority of americans (and i take this to mean north americans – what’s the difference?) go through their days without touching or being touched by another person. years later, that still haunts me. knowing the benefits of contact, it makes me sad for those for whom this is a reality. i also take mental note of the people who make physical contact with others and how they do it. i try to make an effort to bring touch into the lives around me.

the phone is one thing i am terrible at. talking on it, at least. texting, yes. facebook, yes. twitter, yes. any form of messaging other than actually talking, i have mastered. when it comes to real phone calls, a glance at my call history will show the reality. when it comes to the phone, i only really talk to kevin and my folks. even my bestie and i only talk on the phone a few times a year!

as a typical teenage girl, the phone was a staple of my life. my parents made the standard complaints about it being stuck to my ear and threatened to remove said attachment if my behaviour strayed from anything but acceptable. i can’t tell you when that dropped off and the real function of the phone died for me, but the passage from that cutrone book struck me. i do rely heavily on electronic communication and i have let some of my relationships slip as a result. that ain’t cool!

so, these days, when i’m thinking of hitting send on a text or composing an @ reply via twitter, i try to stop myself and think “could i make a phone call right now and enjoy this interaction even more?” sometimes i even find that the answer is yes!

do people still talk on the phone? do you??

…i’m reaching for the phone
to call the seven-oh-three
and on your machine i slur a plea
for you to come ho-o-ome…

i’m not sure that would feel or sound the same, had the message been sent by text or dm. 😛