Thursday, May 31, 2012

My Creative Space

I have a stack of old magazines that I occasionally flip through, snipping and tearing out collage material. One afternoon last week I did just that, cutting up three or four of them. Next, I sorted the pieces since I keep various envelopes and folders for ephemera (one each for words, texture, colour, people, animals, etc). These are key for making collages - you never want to have to go searching for that perfect piece when you're in the middle of a page. Plus, when I'm low on inspiration, I'll go through these folders and eventually an idea strikes.

Usually, as I'm cutting, I find pieces that just have to be used immediately. Here are a few of the pages that resulted from my snipping and sorting last week:
This last spread is from a smaller sketchbook:
Which page is your favourite? Why?

If you head on over to my Flickr photostream, you'll be able to check out a few more photos of these pages. And for more Creative Spaces, click here.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Amateur Photo

After hearing about it on one of my favourite blogs, Ni Hao Y'all, I decided to enter one of my photos in a contest. My reasoning was the same as Stephanie's: there's an amateur division, so why not? One winner will be chosen by the judges and another winner will be a "fan favourite" based on likes on Facebook.

So, if you're feeling generous, why not hop on over to the amateur group, scroll through the photos and like a few? Definitely check out Stephanie's photo, it's gorgeous. And maybe you'll also like this photo...?
I don't expect to win by a long shot - there are tons of fabulous photos in the group - but it's simply an honour to be included!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Mosaic Monday

It's Mosaic Monday! I hope you'll join us - it's really easy! Just make a photo mosaic - you can use whatever photo editing software you like, or a website such as the mosaic maker and photos from Flickr - then post it on your blog. Go ahead and pick a theme if you want, but don't feel like you have to. Have fun with it!

Make sure to include a link back to my blog so that everyone can participate. Then come back here and submit a link to your blog post (using the "add your link" button at the bottom). I'll be looking and commenting on each one!

Here's mine for this week: chipmunk - they were in abundance at the Royal Botanical Gardens this weekend!

Here's the list of mosaics for this week. Once you've blogged, click the button below to add your blog post link.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Sunday Seven

Here are a few things I'm grateful for this week:

Sunday: watching fireworks from a lovely empty field 
Monday: long weekends! Spending time sitting by the water, watching the swans and geese, reading
Tuesday: finishing a novel and starting a new one right away
Wednesday: sweet and unexpected thank you notes
Thursday: living within walking distance of everything I could ever need
Friday: my CBC mention!
Saturday: emptying the fridge while making a delicious salad 

What are you thankful for this week?

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Project 52: 21/52

Week 21 - here's my photo:
This was taken on the steep trail / stairs leading down to the section of the Bruce Trail that wraps around the Devil's Punchbowl. I love hiking in the area - it's quite steep heading down the escarpment (and what a workout going back up!), but that just means it isn't as busy as some of the other hiking trails. I love the calm seclusion of the forest.

Can you spot the chipmunk? The little cutie posed for me, waiting until I got a decent shot before darting off!

I'd love it if you'd participate with me in this challenge! The rules are simple - take 1 photo a week, for 52 weeks. No theme, just a photo of something that sparked your interest during the week. Feel free to use my Project 52 banner as well. Either right click on the image above and save it on your computer, or follow this link and download it from Flickr.

Once you've taken your photo, post it online somewhere and add your link in the submission box below.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Inspiration: Book Quotes

A while ago, I posted about my little notepad of quotes. I love words and phrases (and collecting), so naturally I collect quotes that I find inspiring or speak to me in one way or another.
In the beginning, I filled my book mostly with poems, day-to-day snippets and well-known adages (some of which you can see here). Progressively though, these have given way to more and more "book quotes" - excerpts from novels I've read over the years. I thought I'd share a few of my favourites today.
First, here are some excerpts that make me think (starting with the one above).

A state of chronic powerlessness eats away at a person.   - 1Q84 (p.132) by Haruki Murakami

We can all of us be hurt, and no one is exclusively safe from worry and sadness.   - The Sisters' Brothers (p.50) by Patrick DeWitt

"Most people are chained to their own fears and stupidity and haven't the sense to level a cold eye at just what is wrong in their lives. Most people will continue on, dissatisfied but never attempting to understand why, or how they might change things for the better, [...]"   - The Sisters' Brothers (p.295) by Patrick DeWitt

But what family isn't a ghost story? Sharing tales of those we've lost is how we keep from really losing them. - For One More Day (p197) by Mitch Albom

Other quotes catch my eye because they remind me of myself. These are especially compelling when they refer to some of my quirkier traits. It's reassuring knowing I'm not the only weirdo who feels like this!

He remembers this trait of hers: how she is able to conduct entire conversations without ever once looking at you.   - Eden Close (p.86) by Anita Shreve

[...] she felt only revulsion for any kind of religious fundamentalists. The very thought of such people's intolerant worldview, their inflated sense of their own superiority, and their callous imposition of their beliefs on others was enough to fill her with rage.   - 1Q84 (p.103) by Haruki Murakami

[...] and as she walked amidst the hum of insects she felt sweep over her that old nostalgia, that almost painful longing which so often took her, a yearning for something which she must seize and grasp with all her strength.   - Three Loves (p.73) by AJ Cronin

That barrier was himself: laughter and easy companionship cut off by the curious inhibition of his temperament.   - Three Loves (p.124) by AJ Cronin

Fond as I was of individual women - Bree, Marsali, Lizzie and even Mrs. Bug - I had to admit that taken en masse, I found men much easier to deal with. [...] I found men soothingly logical and - with a few striking exceptions - pleasingly direct.   - The Fiery Cross (p.334) by Diana Gabaldon

I have many more, but I think I'll end with just one final quote. This one hits close to home - it reverberates through my mind, particularly when I think about the elders I have lost.
[dead] Gone now with all that it had ever known, all that it had ever witnessed.  - Queen of the Damned (p.29) by Anne Rice
What's your favourite book quote? 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

My Creative Space

Here's an updated look at my SMASH* book. Click here to see already completed pages and the start of some of the pages shown below. Warning: lots of photos coming up!

Doodling on the cover:

Pages 6-7 (now nearly complete):

Pages 10-11, filling up nicely:

Pages 14-15:
I included some of these flowers on a few pages here and there - I think they add a nice touch:
Page 17:

Pages 18-19:

Pages 20-21:

Pages 22-23:

Pages 24-25:

Pages 32-33:

OK, that's all I'm going to show for now, which I think is plenty! Can I just say how much I love this book?! It's the perfect combination of scrapbook / sketchbook / memory book for me! I love collecting little bits here and there especially for my SMASH* book - and then flipping through my book again and again, looking at all the pretty things I've collected.

If you want to see more close-ups plus a few extra pages that are only just started, head on over to my Flickr photostream.

Head on over here for more Creative Spaces.

June Sponsorship

June advertising on Ulixis Crafts is now open - head on over here for more details!

June is planning out to be fun-filled and sun-soaked! Are you as excited as I am? On the blog, you can expect oodles of outdoor photos from when I go hiking, a couple recipes incorporating fresh summer produce, many peeks into my sketchbooks (including the start of my Sketchbook Project 2013 and a collaborative Sketchbook Project with my friend Angie), some summer reading and possibly a tutorial and a summer outfit or two thrown in the mix!

Want to be a part of it all? Send me a note via and we can chat about the details!