• Limits. We don't like them. We don't want to be told by anyone - not even ourselves - what we can or can't do. That each of us will eventually hit a wall at some point.

    While working on my previous post on illness and beauty/body image, I had several conversations with different friends, and one of the topics that people kept really honing in on was denial. An email exchange with a friend turned into a long rant on my part, and I thought it was worth sharing, so I've fleshed it out into this post - I feel like it's a very important awareness to develop.

    loss-final
    ~ Let your loss set you free Heartgirl by Ariane K ~

  • Health is not binary. People who are chronically and/or mentally ill may indeed be "sick" (a term with a huge amount of complexity in its own right), but we are not on any given day A) sick or B) not sick. These conditions can be lifelong or last many years, going through flares and remissions. But we are not just "sick", we are people with hobbies, partners, friends, and if possible, jobs. Our illness(es) may feel all encompassing at times, but they are not us. They are only a part of us - people who are just as complex and nuanced as any. And yet, it seems at times that there are absurd standards, perceptions, and expectations about what someone who is "sick" looks like. This only exacerbates our already complicated relationships with our bodies.

    BB Day 18 + 19IMG_8603IMG_7997IMG_7513

  • Most of you regular readers can skip this post unless you're just curious - it's time for another update on my throat issues. I know there are tons of people out there struggling with LPR (hello!) and they seem to find their way to my blog in numbers that are pretty astonishing, so I wanted to share what's been going on lately. If you want to read further into my experiences with this, the next most recent post was at the end of 2013 and is here, and my first post from the start of 2013 is here.

  • I did it! It's real! The first six Heartgirl prints are up in my Etsy shop!!!

    Heartgirl prints on Etsy

    You guys, I don't even know where to begin. This is SUCH a big accomplishment for me. I've dreamt of "being a real artist" for such a long time... As much as I've done art since I was old enough to hold a paintbrush, and even sold the odd painting or sewn item back in university, I was convinced it was just something I did as a hobby to pass the time.

    But it isn't just a hobby - it's MY THING. It's always been my thing. And as incredibly challenging as it's been, I've finally squashed my serious case of impostor syndrome... I AM AN ARTIST!

  • There are at least a couple people in my life who've recently brought up the topic of nostalgia. It's not just thinking about or idealizing the past though, it's this recognition that there is something they're longing for that isn't present in their lives anymore. 

    I feel it too. Sometimes I don't realize it until something twigs this burried memory of a feeling I can rarely tap into anymore.

    Pride Parade

    Sometimes you feel it in crowds, at a festival or a concert. Sometimes you feel it out in nature with people who are special to you. Or on a road trip driving late into the evening with the music blasting. Or your first time in a new city at sunset... 

  • As some of you might know, I've been working on an art project for a while now, based on a character I created almost a couple years ago. I've dubbed her Heartgirl.

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    Heartgirl first showed up completely out of the blue when I took Flora Bowley's Bloom True online intuitive painting course. You can see Heartgirl in the red painting below. Though I was never particularly satisfied with my paintings at the end of the course (I don't think I even shared them online because they're nothing near "finished" in my mind, and the red one doesn't even look the same anymore aside from Heartgirl who I couldn't bear to paint over), I instantly loved her! I knew that there was something meaningful in her appearance on my canvas.

  • I think I first discovered zines in my later years of high school. My crash course was through two books: Pagan Kennedy's book "Zine", and then this compilation called "A Girl's Guide to Taking over the World". It would be years before I'd get my hands on an actual zine...

  • Julia NelsonThe post below was originally written on November 5th, 2013.

    This morning, I searched my site for any unpublished posts, wondering if I had anything half-written lying around on here waiting to be completed. I didn't even remember writing this (admittedly my memory hasn't been amazing lately thanks to the brainfog), and only now vaguely recall deciding to sleep on this one before posting it, feeling a bit nervous, or like it wasn't my place to write it.

    Julia was born the same year as me, 1980, and her husband James recently reminded us on Facebook that it would have been her 34th birthday last week. I guess it's fitting for me to find this now...

  • Just as March's course on line drawing with Lisa Congdon was wrapping up, Creativebug announced they were going to do another month-long course in April with Cal Patch teaching pattern drafting! I was legitimately gleeful. I'd been wanting to learn pattern drafting for about six months, but I couldn't find any local courses on it available to people who aren't in a fashion design program. And let's be honest, me trying to attend college courses at this point is still pretty unrealistic thanks to my super unreliable wellness levels.

    This course couldn't have come at a better time, as I'd recently finally designed my own underwear pattern that actually turned out (third try's a charm) and was eager to learn more. I've also really started to love how accessible online courses are - they let me do the work at my own pace from home, so feeling unwell a lot of the time has virtually no impact on my ability to keep up with the course content. Winning combo!

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  • Back in March, I did a month long online line drawing class taught by Lisa Congdon on Creativebug (an awesome website for learning arty and crafty skills!) I've been a fan of Lisa's work for a while, and have studied her technique and style before, so it was wonderful being able to take a class from her even though I don't live in San Francisco. 

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