Wednesday, November 26

my life in photographs

I opened a book where my summer flowers were pressed against the pages. I took the flowers out and spent my early morning hours admiring them. I really do love flowers, they somehow make me feel complete. Maybe it's the nostalgia of my summertime, maybe it's the prettiness of each petal, or maybe it's how each flower is fragile and alive one day but soil the next, kind of like a human being. Flowers remind me how very alive I am so I grow them and sow them and press them into books so I can always be reminded.

Art is aerobics for the heart. I need these quiet hours in a day so I can write, wonder, and build a better world for myself to live in.

Do you know the muffin man? Twelve Bran muffins minus one because I was hungry and I can't take a photograph pretending my muffins are worth eating if I haven't tried them for myself.

I want to always dress like I belong to a storybook.

Dear pineapple, I love you.

I adore the sleeves on this vintage dress I found at a local shop here in Calgary called A Vintage Affair. The 1970's sure knew how to make their dresses beautiful.

A song idea came to me when I was sleeping – so today I will place every inch of sorrow and moment of anger into these strings. Playing music sure does wonders for the heart!

"Fear isn't so difficult to understand. After all, weren't we all frightened as children? Nothing has changed since Little Red Riding Hood faced the big bad wolf. What frightens us today is exactly the same sort of thing that frightened us yesterday. It's just a different wolf." ~Alfred Hitchcock

November has been a wild and beautiful month for me. If you want to know how I am feeling, look at the constellations in a night sky, these moments are surreal and full of surprise! I never once thought the wild bird within me would warble for more than a shower faucet or my bedroom walls. Just last week, I sang on the radio in the morning and played for an audience at the Calgary Collection documentary release in the evening. I feel wonderful. I feel brave. It is a great time for the wild bird in all of us.

Photographs from October and November.
Tuesday, November 18

The Calgary Collection

I feel very proud to be included in the second season of The Calgary Collection. The Calgary Collection exists to showcase and share the beauty and framework of folk music in our city. Through a series of short film portraits of songwriters, singers, musicologists and instrumentalists ― the films explore what it means to be a folk musician in Calgary.
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On a June day, we heard a knock at the front door of our home, along came Mike Tod, Gillian McKercher and the rest of the film crew. We sat in our beloved jam room and talked for hours about folk music, singing, those who inspire us and what it means to be alive. We sang, we cried and we laughed. Everybody involved in the project carried a creative spirit and most importantly, a tender heart. I left the day feeling like the little bird that lives in my heart had been set free.

I will remain in awe that I was given this opportunity to sing, play my banjo and give my thoughts on what folk music means to me.  To be among these talented artists who paint songs and give purpose to those who are listening makes me feel incredibly grateful! You can watch my videos above and find the series of film portraits for this season and the previous one at thecalgarycollection.ca 
Saturday, November 15

The rose petal dress

I am a winter born girl who is desperate for warmth in the floorboards. I cannot live a life where I wander purposely, always searching for where the sunshine grows, nor can I live a life chasing darkness just to call myself a better poet. I am not only happy, I am not only sad. I am both of these feelings in the same day. Sometimes, and only sometimes, sadness will consume me and render me its student. This is how I felt before writing my last blog post. I was sad and no amount of music or birdwatching could wake me from the sour taste of wanting to feel better and not knowing how.

I moped to my mother. I put blame on my lover. I crept and cried while the hands on the clock moved slowly. I wondered if the feeling would lift the same way forgiveness keeps a friendship or clouds part after a rainstorm. I knew in my heart, time would be kind to me. I would return to my body and reconnect my head with my soul. I would once again be the winter born girl who had songs of summertime in her bones.

Today as I write to you, I feel like happiness is here, between the belly and the bone. I sat on the floor of a book store and I heard children laughing. I looked out of my kitchen window at midnight and saw a wild rabbit chasing the moon. I tasted raspberry jam on toast in the early hours. These are the tiny moments in a day that make me believe happiness is here. Sometimes, and only sometimes, sadness will consume and render me its student, but then time comes to pass and I begin to see things a little more brightly than I ever did before. If you can't let sadness help you grow, what on earth is it for?

The Outfit
Dress Chicwish
White lace blouse – Value Village
Red Tights Joe Fresh
Banjo  Dogwood Banjos

The Location 
Ravine behind my house, Calgary Alberta Canada

Thursday, November 6

Into the fog

Into the fog may seem like an appropriate title for describing the nature of these photographs, but it is even more fitting as a way of describing my mood lately. Into the fog, like a child who finds herself between a log and a mushroom without knowing her way home. I am wearing clouds on my eyes as thick as pine groves. I try to make myself feel better by drawing hot baths, focusing only on the good that exists in my life and keeping close to the actions and objects that make me feel the happiest, like music and laughter or poetry and taste buds. It works for awhile as I glow in my attempt to keep myself fed and well, but then the fog returns like a forgotten secret, as if to remind me that I will never be a stranger to it.

As a blogger, we often desire to create a home for our readers to escape to, a place where the wolves cannot get you. As a human being, we are often so afraid of letting others know how imperfect and fragile we really are. We run away from the very emotion that gives birth to poets, we run away from sadness as if we should be ashamed of it. I for one have always treated sadness like an ingredient necessary for a beautiful life. It is what makes me listen deeply when a friend is speaking to me, it is what makes me feel a striking fire when I sing, it is what makes me abandon silly desires that could swallow others whole. Sadness may be the reason I am living in a fog today, but sadness is also the reason I started writing, gardening and playing my banjo. I did these things so I could escape sadness and I ended up growing poems for my family, flowers for the honey bees, and banjo songs for those who are listening.

I want to remind you and myself that a life is not measured by feasts of flowers and sparkling cider, a life is measured by moments, tiny fragments in a day and what we choose to do with them. We can hide our sufferings from one another, we can go forth with believing everything is greener on the other side of the hill or we can let our sadness make us better listeners, singers and history-makers. We are not alone and whether the day shines for us or not, there is always somebody out there who feels sad too. Be kind.

The fog will lift and every colour will look more beautiful than it ever did before.
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The skirt I am wearing in this post was hand crafted by a sweet girl named Lital – she is a fashion designer from Israel with her own label called Isidora Anne. The label is a tribute to her grandfather and every piece is handmade with tender love and care. I adore her designs, especially the colours of fabric she chooses. Her entire collection reminds me of a vintage storybook that is both romantic and playful! You can get 10% off at her Etsy shop by entering the code amy10
 The Outfit
Sweater OASAP 
Skirt – Isidora Anne 
^^^(10% off by entering the code amy10 )^^^
Shoes Bait Footwear

The Location 
Ravine behind my house, Calgary Alberta Canada