Monday, June 30, 2014

Simple Life Things and a Tech Free Summer

So about a week ago, I suddenly decided that as of July 1st, I'll go internet free until September. I'm going to spend the summer creating things, collecting up memories, working on a budget, organizing non-profit projects, and doing all the things that so often don't get the time they deserve because I'm always researching, and getting inspired, and trying to "market", which I'm terrible at it. I think if I give myself the two months, I will hopefully have a legitimate plan for moving forward by the end of it all.
I'm a bit nervous, because unlike most people, who seem to struggle the most emotionally in the winter, I have a really hard time with summers. I have no idea why. I usually cope by occupying my mind, and making the transition from tech filled days to whatever my mind imagines, is a wee bit daunting.
That being said, I'm excited.
And it's not like I'm stopping altogether. I'm helping with a wedding, and I'll still be a photographer... so both of those things semi-require at least checking up on the status of things... but basically, it's break time.
I'm so fortunate I'm one of those personality types that inherently loves the small things in life!
Petals covering the ground, furry rabbits, laughter, sunlight, the smell of mock oranges... it all adds up to a pretty great world.

DIY: Fabric Scrap Journal

All you need that you probably don't have laying around the house, are the rings for the binding.
Cut the faces off an old cereal box.
For the inside of the journal cover, use a piece of paper of card stock. Cut it to the size you want. I folded an 8.5 x 11 piece of card stock in half. Make sure the cereal box is trimmed down to this size as well.
Glue the card stock to the printed side of the cereal box. 
Find 2 pieces of scrap fabric that are approximately 2 inches larger on each size than your cover. I had some old cross-stitch fabric with a weave finer than I normally use. I put the fabric flush on the binding side, and the folded the extra fabric inward (inside the cover) and tacked it down with glue. I did the top and bottom first.
In order for the third size to sit nicely, before I folded it in, I cut the corner on a diagonal, so that I didn't have to fold the extra material in, and have an awkward lump. 
I decorated the cover with some other scraps.
Then with a hole punch, I made two holes in the cover. After the back cover was also covered in fabric, I lined it up underneath the top cover, and made made pen marks through the hole punch, so they two covers would line up properly. Then I hole punched the back cover (and any pages I have finished already).
These are the rings I selected. I went mid sized, so that I can add lots of pages to the journal through the course of the summer (or year). These were $.25 a piece I think.
I probably should have removed the hot glue strings before posting these photos. Also, I didn't use hot glue for the most of the project. Just adding on the scraps for the front. I got bored waiting for the other glue to dry.
I also glued a few other finished cross-stitch pieces that I had laying around in a box. 
This isn't really an Art journal per say. I wanted to do another Art journal project this summer, but I found a list of prompts that I enjoy writing about instead, so I've sort of combined the two. I like that I can add pages, made of whatever I choose, rather than only using the thin pages of normal journals, where the ink inevitability bleeds through and ruins the next page.

 I realize it's not the best looking journal ever, but I figure, you can make it your own.
Happy Monday friends!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Awesome Promises and Community Pride

One thing I'd like to do with this blog, is devote posts to worthy causes. If you know a cause that needs a little promotion, this blog doesn't have a huge following, but I would still love to hear about it, and eventually post about it.

Please email your cause to

To start, here are three causes on my heart lately,
I can't verify the credibility of the causes that I will post about... just share them because I appreciate their ambitions.

Because I said I would is an organization that was started by Alex Sheen. Upon request, you will be mailed a set of ten promise cards (each which say 'Because I said I would'). The idea is that with each card, you make a promise to somehow better humanity, and then do it, just because you said you would. I learned about it here, from a man who stood outside a bar providing rides to people who had been drinking, after someone he knew killed a man while driving drunk.

The promises don't have to be earth shattering, (or drinking related even though all of the examples I provided are). It's just about personal commitments to make the world a better place.

2. The Awesome Foundation, this organization has been spreading world wide. Basically, in each community a panel of ten people get together and each donate $100/month. The $1000 is then given, with no strings attached, to the best project proposal for community improvement. I read about the Sydney chapter in Frankie Magazine. These photos are from the San Antonio chapter... there are Canadian chapters as well.

3. Heart Dunnville, (my own cause of course!) was inspired by the Awesome Foundation in part. I don't yet have the resources to start an Awesome Foundation here, but Dunnville definitely needs one! At this point, the goal is just to spread some community pride, and eventually do some fundraising for all the local non-profit organizations and projects that may need a shot in the arm. I'm also surrounded by so many talented people, and also very much impressed with how important shopping local and indie is, (my crazy long post on why here), so hopefully I can share more about that. On another, more serious note, Heart Dunnville came into being for me, because I so desperately want to help end child and teen abuse and poverty, but I have no idea where to even start, and somehow while thinking about that.... Heart Dunnville happened. So... if you have any tips at all on how I can really advocate for changes that will protect and help children and teens, please let me know. And back to Heart Dunnville, I have so many ideas for it's direction and I'm just so excited! I couldn't even sleep last night. 
Want to get involved? Let me know! or via facebook! 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

I just really like the hedges.

These bushes at the church have flowered, and they're so absolutely beautiful.

I love being a photographer, I've said it before. I cannot, however, model for anything. The harder I try, the more awkward I get. I make the most unflattering faces, and my body is so stiff. 
What can you do? 

Enjoy your week friends! 
Dress - Forever 21
Necklace, Present from a friend
Headband, all me! 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Places I Go: Bike Trail along Lake Ontario, Hamilton

My friends and I went biking down at the Hamilton Bay front the other evening. The trail is so well-maintained, and that day was absolutely perfect weather  for it. You bike a long the lake, and past little cottages and parks and larger condos, and tons of wild flowers. Some of the path is under tree tunnels and there are little brown rabbits everywhere! The only downside, if it's a downside, it's well-used. So on a bike, you often have to swerve around little kids on roller blades or couples slowly wandering the path together. Anyway, the point is, it's really nice. Unfortunately, being me, I mostly photographed my friends and the wild flowers, not the trail. 
Aren't these salsify lovely? I had to google them because they look JUST LIKE GIANT DANDELIONS! Apparently they have edible roots that taste just like oysters. No thanks.
 I did however, have some trail photos on my phone, plus I asked Joe and Jeff to send me their's.
You have to put your bike in this trough, while you walk upstairs to get up to the bridge. That was a little weird for me, my bike was kind of too heavy. 
Look at all the purple grass behind the salsify! 
And then, headed home through down town...
Coming along the lift bridge between Hamilton and Burlington, I couldn't help but think how much I love cities and the secret places that only locals know about that make them special. I guess that applies to small towns too - really anywhere....