The Dogwood Banjo

I am the joyful owner of a new banjo  handmade by a banjo builder located in Minnesota and designed for the clawhammer way of mind. The banjo's name is the dogwood and she plays as beautiful as the flowering tree looks in the spring. I found her online and from there, without even having to introduce myself, I knew it was the banjo of my dreams. 

It is always a bit nerve racking to purchase delicate goods on the internet, especially musical instruments, they are such a personal investment and what plays beautifully for one may not play beautifully for another. Many visits to the guitar store have proven this to be true, somebody picks up a guitar and it sounds so sweet, then I pick up the same guitar and it feels like I am grating cheese. When you find the right instrument for you, it's kind of like falling in love, you can't quite explain why you love it so, you just know it and the feeling is wonderful.

I love my dogwood banjo. I love the fretboard. I love the 12 inch pot. It is like having feathers for flight  I feel like I can sing and play my way through anything in this world. If you'd like to see more banjos and support somebody who labours and loves to build musical instruments by hand, visit Dogwood banjos or like the Dogwood banjo Facebook page

Banjo Specs for your wonder and amusement:
Bubinga finger board, head stock overlay, maple/mahogany neck, maple shell, five Star Planetary tuners, 12 inch pot, renaissance head.

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My life in photographs

Here are some photographs from my August – the month where the sunsets are golden and spirited like a poem about love. I had a relatively happy August, some moments of sadness sunk into my bones, but nothing like the sadness I feel today. I don't know what happens to me when the seasons change but suddenly I turn into a turtle without its shell. I start wondering too much and feeling like my home is not where I am. I start looking through windowsills as if they are windows to a faraway world, a world I cannot touch or belong to.

Maybe I feel this way because summer is just another word for promises. When the calendar turns from August to September, you start to remember all of the dreams and plans you made for your summer, but you feel as if you were only chasing the tail of a wild hound. Summer puts on running shoes and before you can fulfil the desire of following dandelion orbs, going on picnics, blowing bubbles and sharing peach sangria with all of your friends, summer comes to an end.

If I could only slow the season down, maybe let the warmth sink into my autumn air, but it is a feeling not the weather that I dread. I know this is true because when I look outside, it still appears like a hot summers day. There is no snow, the sun soaks our windowsill and rosy cheeks are given to those who step outside. I have no reason to believe autumn is here, except for the name at the top of our calendar.

I have the end of season blues. I have the I wish I did more, I wish I could cut the laces of summer and wear it out a little longer blues. I've been fighting these blues since I was a small girl. I can remember sitting on the wooden fence in our front yard, school was beginning in two weeks time and I was covered in dirt. The rays from a summery sun hit my cheeks in the most peculiar way, it was as if they were robbing a kiss from me or saying goodbye. I began to weep and suddenly felt the kind of dread you feel when you're about to get sick in a car during rush hour traffic. I didn't want summer to end – not then and not now.
As I sit here mourning the end of a season, I tell myself to find something positive for me to lean on, anything to make me feel whole again. I know I could become a slave to my sad mood and never see the beauty in living for today but I wasn't born to be hopeless. I was born to live in winter, in spring, in light and in darkness. I may always crave summer and dream of its arrival, but I am living and breathing in every season, even the ones wherein flowers do not grow. I look outside and the sunset is golden and spirited, the same kind of love poem I saw in the skyline on an August night even though it is September.

Tomorrow I will be ocean bound. My family awaits me on Vancouver Island. How could I sit on top of a wooden fence and cry for the freedom that summer brings when I am ocean bound? Here's to my bountiful love of summer and learning how to plant joy in every other season. I hope your world is bright.

[For detailed descriptions of these photographs, you can find them on my instagram!]

The rabbit, the trees and me.

It was only a week ago, I was running through the forest, climbing grassy patches and kneeling to smell the summertime flowers. There were bright red berries growing on the trees, the garden was alive and the air was warm like a cooing kettle. Travel to a week later and there is snow everywhere, fat clouds of white have blanketed the flowers and killed all the hope that was left for pressing them. I sit here, wearing double knitted socks while my body shivers and shakes. I pour Irish cream into my coffee, hoping the warmth will make me feel alive again.

I awoke in the night to the sound of trees crackling and snapping from their trunks. The far-too-early snowfall is like a heavy stone on the leaf-covered trees, causing the roots and branches to tumble apart. People's vehicles have been damaged, people's gardens have been sabotaged, but worst of all is the trees lying like graves in the street. I want to curl into my bed and fall asleep with my tear soaked eyes. It is so hard on the body and heart to go from blissful warmth to winter blues in a matter of hours. They tell us the snow will rapidly melt and reveal the green grass once again by the time our weekend rolls in. All I can say is that I hope so.

I can handle the cold, I can handle the loss of my harvest, but losing the Autumn after being generously basked in its promises makes it difficult for the soul to adjust. I would like to watch the leaves turn from green to yellow, to sit in the quiet Autumn street and listen to the leaves whistle down the corridor of houses, I would like to feel Autumn on my skin before winter furrows its brow and keeps us inside for a season.

I had planned to write an optimistic post about my recent desire to grow playful and weirder with my wardrobe. I wanted to tell you to be brave and to wander through your world like a living painting, wearing the clothes that best represent who you are, but then the snow came and it made me feel like I should be hibernating. So, I'll leave you with a colourful outfit of mine, one that showcases the silly, rabbit loving, quirky girl I have come to be. 

 The Outfit
Dress  OASAP
  Hat – Savers in Maui, Hawaii
Knee High Socks Free People

The Location 
Ravine behind my house, Calgary Alberta Canada
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