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1 year, 5 months ago Comments Off

25 Random Things About Me!

meportrain

I have just started Andrea Scher’s Brave Blogging  e-Course. It’s been a long time since I have posted with any sort of regularity so i decided that I need some help with blogging. Our first prompt is 25 Random Things About Me! Enjoy!

1.  25 is my favourite number.  It’s the day of my birthday. February 25, It’s my mom’s birthday, May 25, and it’s my wedding anniversary, June 25 as well.  It has also been in my last 4 phone numbers.

2.  I have a strange desire to make any grouping of numbers into 25.  It makes no sense but i love to do this, and it gives me some deep seated joy.  I just typed out an example, but it made no sense whatsoever, so you will simply need to believe me.

3.  For much of my life, I have had crazy hair colours.  Currently it’s blue and purple, but for many years it was red.  Next week, it’s becoming teal.

4.  I have 3 animals.  Two cats and a dog. I will only ever have black cats as they are often the first cats to be euthanized in a shelter.

5.  I met Gene Wilder once in a bookstore and we had the loveliest conversation.  He was sad and beautiful all at the same time.

6.  When i was a kid I have 1079 photos of Michael Jackson collaged onto my wall.  I saw him in the Jackson’s Victory Tour when i was about 12 years old. I was really angry at my mother when she made me wear a snowsuit because it was an outdoor concert in October and it was very cold.  Jackson also died on June 25, which I will never forget.

7.  About 12 years ago, I decided that after a whole life of being a performer that I would become a visual artist.  I had no experience, and had no clue. But for 2 years, I sat in my studio and created mixed media works until they began to look like something.  Since then I have spent the past 10  years spending my time both creating and selling my art work, and performing storytelling based one woman shows.

8. For the past 25 years I have worked in bookstores.  I love books and read a LOT.

9.  I started collecting books about creativity about 23 years ago.  I had been downtown Toronto to go to a job interview at a bookstore and stopped by The World’s Biggest Bookstore (which sadly closed last year) and saw this book called Inspiration Sandwich by someone named SARK.  I read it in a park that afternoon and decided that my life would be all about creativity.

10.  I can put my fist in my mouth. I don’t do it often, but yes, i can.

11.  For a while i was a dancer who performed with all of those who had been my teachers and mentors.  I never took a dance class.

12.  When i get an good idea, no, a great idea, i can’t help but try to make it real.

13.  Immediately after my son was born via C section the power in the delivery room went out.  Due to a handful of circumstances I was pretty doped up and clearly thought that it was the end of the world.  So I decided that was the best time for me to start singing the song I had wrote for him.  Loudly. While sobbing.  The power was restored about 30 seconds after it went out.  It felt like a life time.

14.  I have dated 9 redheads and my 2 best friends growing up were redheads.

15.  When i met my husband, I wrote in my diary that i thought that I would marry him.  2 years and 5 days afterwards, I did.

16.  I often feel like a fraud.  Like, daily.

17.  I ended up on a stage with Bobby McFerrin singing a duet with him in front of 10,000 people 10 days before my wedding.  It was amazing.

18.  I used to teach creativity, storytelling and collage at a spa called Rio Caliente in Mexico. I am so sad that it has closed because it was truly a special healing place for me and others.

19.  As I am writing this, a 8 month old kitten named Chimmy lied  on top of the keyboard and urged to stop typing and pet him.  I took a few minutes to humour him as he is VERY cute.

20. I don’t like being told what to do. Which is why I never went to university.  I sometimes wish I had.

21. I LOVE books. I have books in every room in my house.  I own approximately 10,000 titles and had downsized when i moved to Hamilton 4 years ago.

22. I don’t know how to swim.

23.  I believe that grief should be talked about.  I have had my share of sadness and just wrote about it in Grief Landscapes that is a project by the great Mindy Stricke.  Check it out here.

24. My dad died 3 years after 10 years of living with multiple myeloma.  My dad was one of the kindest guys ever, and i am often so sad that he isn’t around to see my son grow up. I think my dad looked a lot like the Dalai Lama, and I am currently writing a show about him called, My Father, the Dalai Lama.  

25.  My grandfather was very dear to me. I met him when he moved her from Spain when he was 80 and when I was 15 and he lived to be 98.  I miss him a lot.

2 years, 5 months ago Comments Off

A moment for meditation

 

 

As an artist and a mother I have always found it necessary to find moments of quiet and contemplation during my busy days. In my past I tried traditional meditation again and again, and somehow it just never stuck.  Sitting still in a quiet room just didn’t work for me.  I mean, it worked, it did calm my mind, and it chilled but I so looked for something different.

Many years ago, I found the magical art of beading.  I was inspired by the work of Eleanor Wiley, a woman with an amazing story who created large beaded pieces and traveled the world talking about how it save her life.  When i met her, I became enamoured by these small pieces that I started creating.  Throughout the years, I realize that these beads that I have created were in fact my meditation.  A marriage of stillness and creativity that calmed my mind, and let me breathe deeply.

I am interested in sharing these pieces, which i call VIDA Beads, to others.  VIDA Beads are contemporary meditation pieces that offer a tactile experience to remind us of what is important in the world.  I create the pieces from beads that i have gathered from around the world.  I will be offering to sell these pieces on Etsy at reasonable prices.

To me beading is a joy.  An honour. A meditation that i hope to share with others.

 

Buddha- Vida Beads

 

Deity - Vida Beads

 

RED - Vida Beads

 

 

3 years, 5 months ago Comments Off

Small Sweet And Quiet Fundraiser!

Small Sweet and Quiet is a one woman show that I will be performing in the upcoming month at Theatre Aquarius in Hamilton. It will be my first solo show in a long time and I am so pleased to be working with the amazing team of historian Ann McDougall and shadow artist Sean Frey.


 

I have decided to do a fundraiser to help cover some of the costs involved in the production including fees for the artistic team as well as production costs. The idea is that you donate a certain amount and you get some of my artwork in return.  Please note that these prints will not be made available anywhere else.  Here is how it works. You will receive a print on an archival paper using acid free inks to ensure the quality.  The image will be a 6 x 6 inch image on a 8 x 11.5 piece of paper. The print runs are editions of 25!

a) You choose from either the Small, Sweet or Quiet Packages.  

b) Click on the Donate button. Follow the instructions.  Let me know in the notes which print you will be interested in and or if you would prefer buttons to magnets!

c) Sit back and wait for your package to arrive and know that our forever appreciation is sent your way for this support!


 

The Small Donation – $10

Small but ever so sweet! A $10 donation gets you a random offering of three vintage magnets and/or pins.  You let me know which you would prefer and I will make sure that they arrive at your doorstep.  Every bit counts and we will mention you on our social media site!





The Quiet Donation – $25

We love the silent but strong supporters! A $25 donation gets you a limited edition print of your choice of one of my 9 mixed media collage pieces created for this campaign.   We will also give a shout out on our social media sites.





The Sweet Donation – $100

We love the Sweet Donation here at GirlCanCreate!  A $100 donation gets you the super pack of three limited edition prints of your choice, four random vintage postage stamp cards, and a random selection five vintages buttons or magnets. We will list you as our of our Sweet sponsors in the program and will give a shout out on our social media site!





Please share this campaign far and wide! We look forward to sharing more about this fundraiser with you!

 

3 years, 9 months ago 1

Getting back to basics

I have been busy this year.

Busy with work, and busy with family and trying to find a new sort of normal since my Dad passed in August.  It hasn’t been easy.  But I feel that in order to grieve properly it is necessary for me to live day by day and get back to the basics.

The basics for me are pretty simple.  Surrounding myself with those I love, taking my time to be alone, eating good food, sleeping, making art and reading books.

For those of you who don’t know me, I LOVE BOOKS. I worked in bookstores for 15 years.  When my Dad was diagnosed with multiply myeloma in 2003 I quit my job so that i could be with him.   When I moved from Toronto to Hamilton we moved 70 boxes of books.  I am seriously hoping that I live in this house for the rest of my life as I am sure we now have at least 10 more boxes than we had two years ago.

You see, for me books are magic reminders of others and their lives and stories.  They have been solace to me during my life, and they continue to inspire, teach and fulfill my imagination.

In August, after my dad passed,  I started working at a local independent bookseller in Hamilton.  Epic Books is the perfect little shop where the people who come in love books and literature.  Being able to talk to others about books again has truly made me feel lucky that we live in the world that we live in.  One where intelligence and learning are available for most, and that books are not forbidden, not censored for the most part.

The books that I have enjoyed lately have been Watch How We Walk by Jennifer Lovegrove, a captivating coming of age tale of a young woman and her struggles with her family, who are devout Jehovah Witnesses.  I know Jennifer, but hadn’t read any of her work.  So beautiful and tragic, her descriptions are powerful and sharp.  I felt like I had stepped back in time to when I was a teenager.  I never wanted this book to end.

I am reading This is How you Lose Her by Junot Diaz.  I loved his previous book The Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao and this new collection of short stories does not disappoint.  I am not finished and am taking my time to read this book cause it’s just so darn good.

Books to me are like friends, they are trustworthy, and they keep secrets and unfold sweetly.  I am happy that I am finally taking the time to read books again.  It is the one thing that is hard when you become a mother but so glad that i am finally able to focus and take the time to reconnect with my love of words. . It has always been and will continue to be something that soothes me and my soul.

What are you reading?  Any suggestions for me would be so very appreciated.

3 years, 12 months ago 2

How Art Saved Me This Summer

It has been quite some time since I have posted in this blog.  In June I decided that I would take a bit of a summer break from Art and Craft and it has ended up being a good thing for sure.  This has been one of the most challenging summers of my life.  Two weeks ago, I was in a bad car accident.  I was taking a break from the hospital where my father had been and decided to go to the bookshop.  I took my almost three year old son Max with me and off we went.  It was a sweet visit with Max buying a book about bugs and me picking up the latest Cloth, Paper, Scissors Magazine.  On our way back, we were cut off by a driver and the car was totalled.  Max was fine, but I ended up with whiplash, bruises on my abdomen, and some serious back pain.  Thankfully I will be fine with some massage and physiotherapy over the next few months.

A week later, after 11 years of battling multiple myeloma, my father passed away.  For those of you who don’t know me, My dad meant the world to me. He  was a wonderful man and a great dad.  Supportive, Funny and Kind.  Now that he is gone, my heart is so very sad.  I don’t know quite how to describe it.  Since my father has left the world is quieter, a bit more serious, and somewhat frightening. I know that time heals and that memories will help me get through this  with the support of friends and family, but I can’t help but feel alone.

And this is when Art comes in.  During these past few weeks, I have sat  by my father’s bedside listening to him breathe heavily. I sat with journal in hand and i just wrote down memories, poems, thoughts.  I got out markers and drew doodles, and sketched my father’s profile.  At night when I am home and can’t sleep, I listen to music that my father adored, Spanish Zarzuelas, Mario Lanza and Placido Domingo.  And it all helps.  It helps a lot.

My dad was someone who taught me that it was important to do what you love.  I know that he was surprised when I decided to be an artist, be it a performer or a visual artist.  He might have been worried but after we would talk about things, he would always say, “I don’t really understand what you do, but it’s clear that it makes you happy and you are good at it, so keep on.”

These past few weeks have been horrible.  The most difficult times have been at night, but when i take a moment  to write, or draw or collage,  it felt like i was at home, as if healing was happening, slowly but surely.   The work that I am creating won’t be seen in public, but it’s just for me and my dad.  A way to cherish, remember and to love him. What a gift.