Category Archives: Artwork

Town Mascots

In July 2016, my family drove from Winnipeg to Bakers Narrows, Manitoba. Bakers Narrows is a small town north of The Pas and somewhere south of Flin Flon.

Along the way, I captured some images of town mascots.

white-horse
The white horse at St. Francois Xavier. Created by Winnipeg sculptor George Barone, the statue commemorates an Aboriginal legend.

happy-rock
Happy Rock for the town of Gladstone. You get it, right?!

swan-lake
Swan River has an elegant… well, swan. Of course!

flin-flonย  flin-flon-sign
And the town of Flin Flon has the fictional character, Josiah Flintabbatey Flonatin from the novel, The Sunless City by Preston Muddock.

The Main St. Confectionery

confectionery 3

Our first evening at Magic Kingdom, we explored Main Street while we worked our way towards Cinderella’s castle. Shelby and Matt were (oddly) in agreement to check out the Main St. Confectionery.

Sugar! Sugar! Sugar!

confectionery 5confectionery 1Watching the bakers create the wonderful Disney-themed desserts was fun. Everything is made behind glass windows so guests can watch the magic.

Shelby and Matt checked out all of the goodies. confectionary 4

I must admit, I’m not a big “sugar” lover, so I was fine with just looking. Also, I couldn’t stand the smell of the store, cooked sugar… so much cooked sugar. But it was sure pretty to look at.

 

confectionery 2

Photography 101 – Midway Lights

Ex ride

Midway Lights at the Red River Ex

Photography 101 – Hummingbird

hummingbird

I was impressed with my new camera to freeze the hummingbird’s wings!
Taken at Assiniboine Park, English Gardens

Living Ideology – Fitting in Self-Care

I’m a busy person, looking after a busy family. With eight people and seven four-legged creatures living under one roof, it makes for chaos at the best of times. Try 20141216_205547planning dinner — who’s here? who’s working? what time is each person home? What activities are we rushing to? Did I make enough? … Nope (oops!) It happens. . . (sorry David!)

Always being on the run, “chauffeur” should be on my resume — along with “master time manager.” ๐Ÿ™‚

We make sure that James and I get us-time. (Special thanks to our respite workers!) It’s a relationship saver.

But sometimes… just sometimes… I need me time. I did some thinking on my self-care tactics and realized that I’ve actually developed some good habits at taking time when I need it. I’m also pretty good at sneaking in me time even when I’m hanging out with the family – it’s always possible if the TV is on!

Sometimes I create a self-spa with a bubble bath, music, candles and a good book. 20141227_223504See you in a couple hours.

 

You’re all well aware that I love photography. I like to take my camera and go by myself somewhere. Getting a great shot is a huge rush for me. And I mean a great shot by my standards, not someone else’s. Self-care isn’t about what others think, it’s about enjoying yourself immensely.

I read a lot.

I enjoy absolute silence. (When all the kids are at school and pets are all napping.) This is actually rare.

I accomplish self-care while hanging out with the family usually during TV/movie time. I’m in the room, I’m interacting with others, but I’m also fawn - Copybeing creative at the same time. I have “my” corner of the sofa. Near it I have my “tools” – whatever it is I’m into at the time. (Important to note: It’s OK for interests to change!)

I’ve been creating photo albums for about fifteen years. I used to make actual Creative Memories (TM) scrapbooks with real developed photos – you know, back in the day… but now, I use online services and once or twice a year,ย  photo books appear in our home. I’m still about two years behind in general family 20150515_143246_resizedphotos, however, I make sure our holidays are recorded as soon as possible. Disney/Universal took me about six months, committing about three to four hours per week to the project. The important thing is that when it felt like a chore, I stopped. Self-care, remember!

 

I occasionally teach myself zen-tangling:

20150515_143504_resizedย  20150515_143516_resized

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A few minutes getting a cuddle from Mr. Stevens definitely counts as self-care. 20141114_135740

Recently, I’m into “adult” colouring books — not X-rated!! I mean highly detailed!

20150515_143007_resizedEven bought myself my own set of pencil crayons and a sharpener that no one else is allowed to use.

That’s something else I’ve noted is important. I need to have the right tools in order to not be stressed. No sense trying to do something unless you have everything you need to make it fun. My kids have their own bin of crayons. They don’t need to use mine. Against popular demand – mothers do not need to sacrifice everything for their children. Those are my crayons dammit. ๐Ÿ™‚

Anyway, where was I… oh, yes. I’ve also recently discovered a fabulous nail polish brand. My other new thing is painting my nails. (I get ideas from Laura at Fun Lovin’ Travelers and then add my own twist.) I’m particularly proud of these ones and thought they were photo-worthy.

20150513_135410_resizedYou may be waiting for me to add writing to my list. Novel writing is now my “job,” so not a self-care activity. I should mention however that I love my writing job!

Oh, and I should mention my favourite self-care activity – napping. Sometimes at 2:00 p.m. I just can’t focus any more, so twenty minutes on the sofa does wonders. Yes, one of the luxuries of working from home, I know.

I hope you have several ways of taking care of yourself, or are inspired to start if you aren’t making some time. I’d love to hear how you spend your one-on-one you time. Leave a comment. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Seeing Bea in the Roaring 20’s

I attended the Manitoba Book Awards on Saturday night, for the first time. My novel, Empty Cup, was shortlisted in the McNally Robinson Book for Young People, older category. I didn’t win, but having my first novel shortlisted is a true honour. I congratulate the winner, Eva Wiseman for her book The World Outside.

As I mentioned in a previous post, my publisher, Rebelight Publishing, had two of their inaugural novels in the same category. Empty Cup was nominated along side Larry Verstraete’s Missing in Paradise. An incredible feat for a new small publisher.

The theme of the night was the roaring 20’s!

MBA Mel headpiece MBA Christina and Gabe

Here is my writers’ group, The Anita Factor, all dressed up with some place to go.

Melanie, Me, Jodi, Christina, Gabriele Melinda, Deborah

Anitas: back: Melanie, Me, Jodi, Christina, Gabriele
front: Melinda, Deborah (missing MaryLou and Patricia)

It’s pretty incredible really – seven Anita’s have been published in the last twelve months. It’s been a wild year.

 

And the winner is!

Fellow Anita and Rebelight Publishing owner, Melanie Matheson, won in the McNally Robinson Best Book for Young People, younger category, for her picture book, Hokey Dowa Gerda and the Snowflake Girl. Congrats again my dear friend!hokey cover

MBA Mel wins

An absolute highlight for me was seeing Beatrice Mosionier, author of The Search for April Raintree. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the best picture, but I was stoked just the same. This is one of those books that everyone should read.I was hoping to meet her afterwards, but I couldnMBA bea‘t find her in the crowd. Still, this is the author of the highest selling book of any Manitoba author. An new award recognizing aboriginal writers was named after her. I could go on and on, I was starstruck.

The Manitoba Book Awards was a truly wonderful experience and one that I look forward to taking in annually.

I would highly encourage people to check out different awards programs in their areas. You may be surprised what or who you discover!

Photography 101 – Downtown Sunset

Sunset downtown wpg

Looking towards The Forks from across the Red River during sunset.

Photography 101 – Mr. Stevens

 

Mr Stevens

Mr. Stevens, 9ish years old

Photography 101 – Pine Cone

pine cone xmas copy

 

Photography 101 – Water Ripples

water ripples

Water ripples using reflected colour.