Wednesday, April 1, 2015

National Letter Writing Month 2015

April 1st has finally arrived and that means the start of National Letter Writing Month, "an annual effort to promote literacy and celebrate the art of letter writing" by the U.S. Postal Service.  This marks my third year participating in the group started by Lindsay Ostrom - you can read more about the whole process here (one of my blog posts from 2014) and here (a post from 2013).

This year's format is a little different - we have each been paired with one penpal and asked to send them at least four handwritten letters this month.  I've already received my first letter from my new friend Marissa who lives in the Philippines.  Check out the cool stamps!
I love how she wrote my name on the envelope, don't you?
Yesterday, I paid a visit to my favourite postal employee, Jovy - you can read about her here.  I stocked up on stamps, as you can see:
Those red lip stamps are unusual, aren't they?  It's a photo by Montreal photographer Genevieve Cadieux, part of a series entitled "150 Years of Photography".  Rather a strange choice for international stamps, if you ask me, but who knows how Canada Post makes these decisions?!!

It's been a long time since I've written to a stranger in another country. I'm looking forward to hearing more about Marissa and her life in the Philippines. It's going to be a great month!

If you want to join in the fun, get your pen and start writing some letters!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Highlights of Mexico City

People have been asking me since I got home from Mexico City what part I enjoyed the most.  I must say, it's extremely hard to narrow it down to just one or two things.  As I have been downloading my photos, I've been trying to decide what were the highlights of the trip for me.  Here's my list of the top 12 (with items 3 to 12 in no particular order):

1.  Our amazing instructors, Judy Wise and Katie Kendrick, and the trip organizers, Kathie Vezzani and Ana Elena Martinez.
L to R:  Ana Elena, Katie, Kathie and Judy
2.  My fellow students and new friends - such lovely people and incredibly talented artists.
Photo by Judy Wise
3.  The Red Tree House where we stayed.

4.  The museum that used to be the home of Frida Khalo.
5.  The Museo del Carmen, which shall forever be known to me as "the one with the mummies in the basement".
6.  The afternoon we spent on floating along the canals of Xochimilco
7.  The Museum of Popular Art

8.  The delicious dinner we enjoyed at the home of the home of photographer Ignacio ("Nacho") Urquiza and his wife, food stylist Laura Cordera.
9.  Chapultepec Castle/Castillo de Chapultepec
10.  What we made during the workshop
11.  Our visit to the studio of artist Carlito Dalceggio.
12.  The Museo Dolores Olmedo Patino (the one with the peacocks everywhere!)
Of course, these are just the highlights, there were so many wonderful experiences.  I will be sharing more detailed posts about our adventures over the next several days, stay tuned!

Monday, March 30, 2015

Mexico City Recap

The downloading process continues as far as my photos are concerned.  I still have a bunch on my camera and iPhone from my trip to Florida in February to process as well.

In the meantime, take a look at the blog posts that the two instructors from my Mexico workshop have already posted.  There are lots of great photos to be seen and you'll get a sense of what we were up to during the week.  Judy Wise posted in three parts:  Part 1 (which features two photos of yours truly!), Part 2 and Part 3.  Katie Kendrick has posted part 1 and part 2 of a four part series so far.

Here's a picture of Judy (centre) and Katie (right) with Kathie Vezzani, one of the trip organizers, taken on our last evening together.
Tomorrow I hope to share some of my favourite moments of our trip, so stay tuned!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Haiku My Heart Friday: Sign of Spring


Red-breasted robin
A herald of spring, even if
Winter hasn't left yet. 

For more haiku, please visit recuerda_mi_corazon.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Words of Advice

Starting to make my way through the over 2,000 photos in my camera and another 500 or so on my iPhone from my recent trips to Florida and Mexico.  It's going to take some time, so for now, here are some words of advice as presented on these pretty signs that were scattered about our retreat venue in Florida:



I'm not completely sure who made these signs. I believe it was either Nancy and/or Michelle from Everything Scrapbook and Stamps.  Aren't they great?

So much more to come, so stay tuned!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Returning

Longtime readers will have noticed that I have been mostly absent from this blog for a while now. I've been travelling and grieving and experiencing technology issues and just busy doing other things, all of which add up to not enough time to spend at the computer.  I shall attempt to remedy the situation over the next little while and for those of you who are still checking in to read what I write, thank you for your patience.

As of early evening yesterday, I am home from a trip to Mexico City.  I feel a bit like these Canada geese I saw out my window at work today:
I heard them honking and watched them nip at each other and move about on the roof, as if they were talking back and forth while surveying their surroundings, discovering that while they were still somewhat familiar, they were also changed since the last time they were here.

I suspect they may have been the same pair who built a nest on the neighbouring property last year, as I wrote about here and here.  Then again, there were three of them today - one on the ground of the parking lot next door, very near where the nest was built last year.
(apologies for the lack of a closeup, I find my iPhone isn't that great for taking pictures of things far away.) Perhaps one of their kids returned with them?  Or perhaps the one on the ground was one of the parents, deciding whether to build there again?

I am feeling the same way, being back at work today.  Things are familiar but changed.  It will take me a few or several days to read through all the emails that accumulated and clear off the piles of files that have collected in my absence, to sort out what happened while I was gone.
It also feels like changes have occurred within me that I can't yet identify.  The events of the past few weeks and months will take some time to absorb and process.  I'll be watching to see what develops, just like I'll be watching out my window to see what those geese will do next.

Stay tuned!


Sunday, March 15, 2015

March 15th

I've been thinking about my brother Craig all day today, as it would have been his 52nd birthday.  He was telling us at Christmas how he had dreaded turning 50 and had been glad to tick over to 51 when the time came.  So very sad and still hard to believe he didn't live to see 52.