Monday, June 30


Over a week ago I was talking with my friend Nick. The seeming duality of Nick's character, going from one frivolous extreme to the pessimistic who sees doom on his doorstep, is a symptom of his passion in the pursuit of ideas. (And of course, ideas are so much more beautiful when they are hyperbolized)

Thing is, most of his domesday dreams are highly supported by factual evidence, history and economics. People are, after all, very predictable, technology develops further, societies rise and fall... sometimes with huge aftershocks.

Nick has become tired of telling people all about the chaos that will soon disrupt the lives of the wonderbread, and constantly meeting a dead end. It's too bad that he seems to have burnt out so soon into his life, only 19 years this month. Because Nick is not just pessimistic, he's a tired realist. So he quietly retreats into his own future, taking his own advice.

So what happens when the depression is over and the world's condition seems mediocre, if not excellent? Will he be happy and content or will be become relatively radical in a newfound pessimism? Is he just a victim of circumstance? I suppose I wonder - and wish - if Nick would have been any other way in a different time.

But I sincerely think that, for some reason, some person, some action, he was needed in this time.

Friday, June 27

A confession

I am a person who asks questions of everything. It doesn't matter to me if there's a long-standing tradition or if it's a new practice, whether something is an immense success, mediocre, or quite bad. All sorts of questions...

Especially about jokes! Most people just tell me to stop thinking so much about it and just to enjoy the joke, but for me, the enjoyment in life is in finding the answers, but also - perhaps more so - in coming up with the right questions.

So every once in a while - especially when I've asked a really good question, or read studies or articles that are particularly interesting, off the beaten path, breaking new ground - I get worried. What if, one day, there are no more questions to ask? What happens when everything has been said and taught and studied and crunched and proven or disproven? Can it actually happen? Or, even more strange, will we have all the answers in most fields, so that all the new thinking is limited to only a few areas?

Of course, soon after I think of all the times we learn that science from 20 years ago (or 2000) was wrong, the way the theory of psychology continues to evolve, and people who come along to show us that there is a way different from the norm, and it works.

I suppose what I really worry about is that my 'original point of view' will stop being original when I've said everything there is to say, and I'll just be repeating.
Oh well, I repeat myself anyways. I guess I'll just have to learn more stuff...

Thursday, June 26

Summer (again...)

Free wallpaper of the week! In case you hadn't noticed, I've been voraciously consuming green with my eyes this past little while. So I thought to include it in this week's wallpaper. Quiet, peaceful, and alive, it's not super, or exciting, but it's green. And that's the best part.

  1. Click the picture
  2. Right-click and "Set as Background"

Wednesday, June 25

Green dreams

Mmm, summer.
Metaphor for freedom. The relaxation, a holdover from school days with the few months off. Summer flings, dragonflies, and other things with wings. The wash of water, then soaking up the sun. Hit the road, picnic basket in one hand, camera in the other, worries and cares at home. Fresh produce, farmer's market, flea market, dogs in parks, the cool lush grass...

I love my world, my home in summer.

Tuesday, June 24

We Want YOU

What I love about looking at all the artwork on Etsy (besides being able to look at something and right away recognize the artist - some have very distinctive styles) is that it makes me feel like I can do any of the things I see. It makes me feel good about myself, connect to my creative side, and absorb some cool styles, genres and techniques.

Not to mention that it helps me develop my personal sense of style. After wading through countless photographs or plushies or dishes, you start to really get a sense of what you like, and, if you were to go so far as to start to take something up as a hobby, what kind of style you would have. It's almost like trying on different masks; it's totally risk-free, and actually free. (And if you do buy something, then you have a cool piece of art on your hands) It's a win-win situation.

I think that since I started blogging, reading the blogs that I've put on my sidebar, and exploring Etsy, I have started to feel like an artsier person. Funny thing is, I haven't even changed my activities so much! Of course, I do spend a considerable amount of time thinking about art and personal expression, certainly much more than I had previously. And actually, I am starting to move towards realizing my ideas and putting my stuff out there. (key word being 'move towards' here)

Parts for a project I have imagined creating for years. And now, a small step to completion: I found and bought these parts! At a garage sale across the street no less! These things are big. They're about 10 inches or 25 centimeters long!

I had never before liked to participate in group events at something I considered myself above average ability or talent. I always felt awkward for knowing too much or too little, unfamiliar with the jargon, or bored by topics I thought everyone knew. But 'participating' online (even if I don't contribute much), in a non-threatening environment, and one that allows users of all levels of technical skill, is definitely something I would recommend to anyone with a hobby or interest. And that's you!

Monday, June 23


My mother sent me this article about the "Hundred Thing Challenge". I am posting this because I tried such a challenge, in some sort of zen phase, three years ago. I had a tidy little list of my things, and was still reducing. But.... then I reverted back to a normal teenager whose only outlet for rewards of the monetary sort was items.

"Things are to be used. People are to be loved." The crazy thing about our consumer culture is that we so often reverse it.
--from David Michael's blog

The thing about things is that they are not simply what they are. When advertising really hooks you it's that they've caught your emotions. We often tie images of ourselves to our items. Brands often appeal to the emotional side, or the ego, the sense of self. Just think - Apple (computers) is creative, Pepsi is young, Mike's Hard Lemonade is hard, Nike is strength and endurance...

Imagine how much less appeal a commercial would have if they simply listed a computer's capabilities, or the features of the running shoe, or the ingredients and flavor in a beverage - without the use of imagery, metaphors, even music that appeals to the right facet of you, the consumer. We buy things because, at the base, we want to be the person that commercial portrays. It's not even a conscious desire (most of the time).

Do I think I have too many items? For sure! Do I think our society is a little too materialistic? Absolutely. But I wonder if it is a natural 'evolution' of society, just one more stage to transcend in the history of humans and the continent. If so, then perhaps we will soon move on to the next thing, the same way art or writing has its ages - (in no particular order) baroque, post-modernism, cubism, art nouveau, psychoanalysis, etc.

I certainly hope that we will move on...

Sunday, June 22

It's summer!

I had to be offline for a good part of this week, which meant no posting. It was scary how much I sat there twiddling my thumbs, because normally I get home from work and spend all my time on the computer. I didn't realize quite how much time it took up, and not being able to post all week was killing me.

I love clouds...

News: shops almost Etsy-wide are having YART sales! (yart = yard + art) This is to celebrate the end of spring and the beginning of summer, so if you were ever eyeing some of the etsy items, now might be your chance. And, if you've never been to Etsy, maybe you should check it out!

If you find that little search dialog box near the top of the page and input 'yart' or 'yart sale', you'll hit some great deals on really cool handmade things. And I assure you, these are quality handmade items, not shoddy work.

To buy anything you have to make an account but it's an easy process, and once you have an account you can add favourites!! My account currently has 255 items marked as favourites (oh my goodness!) and 53 favourite sellers - those are the ones that I marked three, four, five items as favourites and kept seeing more that I liked.

What else has summer brought?

In the area, a torrentious rain last Tuesday. Hopefully you celebrated the new season without rental cars and lawyers... (though I'm sure they're delightful people)

Monday, June 16

Reduced schedule

Due to a new commitment I am taking on, I will be posting at a reduced rate, about once every second or third day. It's going to be weird and different, and maybe I will find after all that I can still make enough time to post every day. However, as it is it feels like my grip on my life is slipping. But cheers in the meantime, and go with peace in your heart.

Sunday, June 15

Book of the month

A new book! The past two weeks I have been completely immersed in When Generations Collide: Who They Are. Why They Clash. How to Solve the Generational Puzzle at Work. Oh my goodness, what a loooong title. The cover illustrates it more clearly. (As an added bonus it goes with my color theme!)

Non-fiction books should not be textbooks. By that, I mean they should not be the long, dry chapters through which you struggle to remain awake, the books you have to decipher into non-jargonal english and then figure out the answers to, What does it all mean in the big picture? And what does that look like when it happens in real life??

Well, we're in luck this time! When Generations Collide is filled with examples and anecdotes, emphasizing the main ideas, as well as clearly laying out what you have at stake. It also objectively explains four different generations, throughout the book referring to them respectfully. After all, they say, at the heart of everything are people.

The book explains various facets of the four very different generations interacting in workplaces across the continent.

First, there are Traditionalists, early nineteenth century up to WWII. Loyal, hard-working, willing to put an honest day's work for carefully-spent dimes. Their workplace style was to plan from the start, work your way up the ladder, committing their entire career lives to one company (sometimes up to 50 years!). They have immense faith in institutions and follow a militaristic top-down approach.

Then came the Boomers, from about 1946-1964. 'The booming post-war economy gave the US in the late 40s, 50s, and 60s a sense that anything was possible.' Information in this era was shared so much more freely and rapidly, due in part to the invention of the television, that Boomers necessarily questioned the Traditionalist top-down, need-to-know approach. They are optimistic and want to fix problem areas: women's rights, civil rights, reproductive rights, and even those of Mother Earth. Because of a limited number of resources and jobs, optimistic Boomers are also very competitive.

Add yet another generation to the workplace and things start to really heat up: introduce Generation X. Again, advances in technology and the industries of information saw many individuals and institutions called into question, from pop stars and sports heroes to presidents and organized religion, it was hard to find a role model with true virtue. Add that to a tripled divorce rate in this time and Generation X has learned to be skeptical. Suddenly there were a number of techno gadgets, from video games, microwaves, cable tv, cell phones, and the personal computer, but also, violence sprang up, from AIDS, child molesters and drunk drivers, lurking around the corners of your town. The world wasn't as safe or stable anymore, and it paid to be skeptical.

Lastly, the Millenials (1981-1999). Though apparently at the time of the writing the bulk of them were "still wrapped up in Boy Scouts and Brownies", the writers seem to have made some good estimations at this generation.

Information is flying in and out of millenials' bedrooms on cell phones or laptops at an unprecedented rate. New social networking tools allow this generation to collaborate on a world-wide scale and put their optimistic confidence to use. They have also been directly affected by 'violent outbreaks such as Columbine, readily available illegal drugs, and proliferation of gangs.' Millenials can mostly be described as realistic. They expect to be a part of the decision-making process from the first day of work, contributing meaningfully, and maintaining the balance of their busy lives will take work off of that pedestal for this generation.
They also predict that Millenials will erase the word 'retirement' from the books.

Altogether a very interesting and informative book. I found that learning some of these things not only gave me a fresh insight into my workplace, but the world around me in other places as well. The only thing I thought was missing was more information about the Millenials. (My generation. Less is known about us because we haven't been around as long!)

Maybe this is why I never got the appeal for 'ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country'....

Actually, looking back on what I flagged as I read, a lot of my favourite things have been ways to increase morale productivity, work-life-balance, and worker sanity, regardless of generation. It's a solid piece as far as workplace 'psychology', if you will (which I find particularly relevant because I was part of the 'Rewards and Recognition Committee' at my work. We administered a survey and made recommendations to improve the work lifestyle. I think this is very important.)

Through their numerous examples we can see the types of solutions that many workplaces need in order to survive. It also takes a very positive approach aimed to make the reader more comfortable with the differences between generations: rather than view these differences as a hindrance, see ways to harness the strengths of each generation.

You can view the website of the authors here.

Saturday, June 14


Woohoo! It's so amazing to receive positive feedback! As hard as it is to take negative feedback, at least it offers an area of improvement.

I think it's even harder to go without anything at all. There's a sense of not knowing if you forgot where the line is, suddenly wondering if all this time you thought you were great when, really, you weren't that good at all.

And the past couple of days people have said good things, about my blog and my photos! I just want to give a big shout out to everyone who has encouraged me anywhere along this journey of my blog, and my photography.

I definitely wouldn't be doing this now without that. <3

Friday, June 13


TGIF: Think Green, It's Friday!

Yay! TGIF! I love Fridays more than ever before...

Fridays I will post something to do with the green theme, with a special focus on green + art. I also post finds to do with the three Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle), new policies in government or industry, eco-friendly appliances and vehicles... anything green!

Totally awesome idea! 1972 children's science textbook birthday cards from cutiepiecompany

I think recycling and reusing goes hand in hand with the 'arts and crafts', and this week I would like to focus on the theme.

From collages to clothing to cards, many forms of expression and art have naturally picked up pieces for use in a project. Sometimes an old material is even the basis of a project. Not to mention the economy of using unwanted materials - get rid of something and make something new at the same time!

My "saved from the recycling" crane collection--I try to make one every day out of usable parts of paper going to the bin.

Used or old materials also have a history to them. For almost every artist, the "story" factor is what will make a sale, and humans are natural storytellers. Show someone a stunning work of art and they will be awed, their emotions stirred. Tell them how it fits in your life story, the background, your inspiration, the quirks and coincidences that shaped it, and your potential buyer is connecting to you. Which also means connecting to your art.

Using materials you went to the store to buy is normal; rescuing materials from the jaws of the dumpster, helping humanity fight to save her planet, is extraordinary.

Reusable cloth bags from zJayne's etsy

Another reason crafts and reusing are a lovely pair is that leftover materials are more unusual. This is especially true of items out of circulation for some time, or things that had trouble selling because they had a fringe audience (so no one knows about them).

And a final symptom of craft + reuse = awesome is that materials are put to use in such a different way than their creator intended them. Normally, plants grow and produce more plants; clothing is meant to be worn on the body; maps are made to instruct the reader of terrain; books are usually read. The artist is so named because they can look at these items, imagine a completely different application, and create the finished product. Suddenly, collages induce dreamy landscapes from fronds of plants, books become purses (here), maps become chess sets, and much much more.

Wednesday, June 11

This week's wallpaper

Whoo! I thought, since I like to change up my desktop so often, maybe other people do too. Free desktop of the week, featuring the humour of yours truly, right here.

  1. Click the picture

  2. Right-click and save as

  3. Then set it as your desktop background.

This image is 1600x1200, which should fit on most screens. If you would like a different size visit my flickr.

Tuesday, June 10

Part of your future self

I have a tattoo. On the back of my neck, where no one can see it unless I choose to let them. Just the way everyone comments when you dye your hair hot pink with green streaks, people will remark on your tattoo (though usually it is the newly inked who is overeager to share their addition), and it was precisely the repeated superficial comment over and over again from people who barely know me that I wanted to avoid. (especially as an introvert)

Well after catching the tiniest glimpse of it between my hair, a friend of mine got the show-and-tell. About half the people I've showed have said they'd like a tattoo or would be too scared to pain and/or needles. My friend then says he'd like to get a tattoo. Then he said something... baffling and odd.

"Pick a tattoo design for me", he said. My immdeiate response was a potato on his ankle. What an odd request! A tattoo is something you keep for life. Long after your clothes, hair, boss, or hobbies change, you'll still be wearing the same ink. In fact, the tattoo removal industry was more popular than the tattoo business about 8 years ago.

Part of the reason I got a tattoo was so that I could experience the same doubt as I do about what I am doing. But I suppose that's where I missed the point: it added to and changed who I was. And any person who cannot accept changes in self is like a body whose immune system rejects a donor organ; it's not well-suited for survival.

So I suppose when he saw my tattoo he decided I had good taste and just the fact that I actually had a tattoo convinced him that I was for real. But to me (the one with her design hidden) your tattoo is something personal and very important. Why would someone want to carry for a lifetime someone else's taste or thoughts?

On the other hand... why not take advantage of this opportunity to brand someone? Like planting the flag on a new continent.

Monday, June 9

I heart motorcycle

They burn gas
They're showy,
and certainly impractical for an 8-month winter.
Enhancing the male macho

But a motorcycle is so much fun to ride!
And smooth shiny interesting machine bits.....

Chocolate arrogance

Sunday, June 8

Getting lost...

Today I feel broken.

Listening to mellow or more cheerful music. YouTube is nice for their collection, showing videos others have made to go with songs. Nice to get that other perspective, like John Mayer's Dreaming With a Broken Heart (just linked here for listening). When I listen to the song, I picture John Mayer dreaming of a lost lover. However, someone on posted on YouTube a video to that song about her mother, who had passed away.

Blue Sea Holly from Polaroids and Pinholes

Also looking for art that will make me forget about time.

Six Fourteen via Alicia Bock

Do I love pictures of flowers? Don't honestly think I can get enough! Polaroid (and polaroid-esque) photography? Love the quality, the vintage, grainy, dreamy feel of time not present.

Saturday, June 7

Grad Day

Happy Grad, little sister.

Thursday, June 5

Life Images Submission

My mother had told me about Life Images magazine/competitiony-thing. For the past month I've been wearing out the carpet in my head, walking in circles about what I could submit.

Looking at the pictures I had, I saw this story pop out at me. Or a narrative, or at least a series of events and testimonies. Well, it felt like a 'story' to me....
Aaand this is it!
(it may look familiar)

I wasn't ready

None of us were spared

Now we wait on Charon's ferry

Please let me know what you think!

I will just let it settle and I will submit this tomorrow or Saturday... I feel quite good about this, but here's me crossing my fingers!

Wednesday, June 4

Good things

I definitely feel more relaxed, now that the crisis of "I'm not changing the world in a broad sweeping motion right now!" has passed. A new blog is in the works, in collaboration with a politically-minded friend of mine (he also likes environmental). He is tired of telling people things and 'hitting the wall', so to speak. The wall that is apathy...

Speaking of which, I discovered a new website called Apathy is Boring. (What a name!)

It encourages Canadian youth to participate politically. (Because so many of them don't! The 18-24 demographic consistently has the lowest turnout rates at the polls.) I haven't had time to explore the site's contents yet, just the main 'about' and skimming - but I love the fact that this is a resource! I want to let all my friends know, perhaps I will even be able to organise some event in my area.

And oh, do I love surfing. Apathy eventually lead me to Do Oh how I do love attractive, creative resources, especially for youth. Of course, Do something is American, so if you're Canadian like me, or other, a lot doesn't apply (you can search for volunteer opportunities). That being said, seeing things that are being done, or ideas people come up with, or even browsing the different causes can polarize you and stir you to motion. Some of it is pretty inspiring!

Tuesday, June 3

The war of Orange

It's just so happy! And very bright... I took this picture in March, and made the background today. It makes me think of breakfast, orange juice, coffee, and clotheslines and fresh air.

If you want it as your desktop background, click the image - it will link you to the picture URL. Right-click as set as desktop background, or right-click and choose save as to save it to your computer. (If you want a smaller size, visit my flickr to get the size you need)

And news on the orange-and-blue front: Etsy has gone onboard with the theme. All the picks on the site earlier today were orange and blue (I was just going to get a screenshot, only to find they've now changed it to grey men's things). It was a beautiful thing to see. And the colour search on Etsy doesn't get that I want both colours, just gives me blue items, then orange ones. Sigh.

The creepiest picture of an orange I have ever seen!
*this picture from.... somewhere on the web.
The epitome of something dead... the colours are all off... It looks like mottled blood clumping to the sides....

Other orange things:
(I took these pictures)

yeah, I guess the orange does look a bit red in this picture....

You guessed it, someone in my house was eating a papaya!

Sunday, June 1

And end to it all (chaos or life?)

How much chaos is there in the world? Why??

Today, I see it that chaos is the result of mixing the important matters with the trivialities, giving them equal weight, confusing our minds and our souls.

In photography, a general rule is to keep the background simple, so that the viewer's eye can focus on the subject. Another rule is good composition: put your subject at one third of the way from the top/bottom and two sides. Repeating patterns lead the eye and are soothing, as nature is all about repeating patterns.

We don't live our lives on purpose, it seems. We don't take the time to examine them. We pile the events of our lives the way I pile items in my room because my mother doesn't want them throughout the house. We don't spend time building our lives. We don't have the chance to choose ourselves, to fix the flaws in the foundation on which we build our lives.

Again, in photography, framing is important: finding a natural frame in the picture makes it pop out, much the way a picture frame keeps a picture or work of art from being lost in the vast expanse of the wall on which it is hanging.

sea turtle in hawaiian waters

Everything in life worth experiencing has frames, or limits, of some kind: pieces of music have a start and an end, and only have a certain range; artists and hair stylists have only a certain amount of fine dexterity, time, and tools; paramedics, doctors, and nurses have a limited amount of money, ability, and time. Even our lives themselves: we start at birth and only live until we die. Immortality would not make us better, because with enough time, we could all paint Sistine Chapels, carve Davids, give all our hair for cancer, climb mount Everest if we wanted to. But they are special because the people who did them did so in a few years, rather than in a few centuries. What humans do with limits is the most beautiful thing about us. Wonderful, heartbreaking, and terrible, perhaps, but definitely the most beautiful.

Today I see how it could all work. If we stood back and framed our lives with care, the way a photographer carefully composes a shot--taking into consideration the light and the colors and the contrast, choosing which details to leave out, how to better feature the subject, the point of interest--our lives, our world would be so much better.