Posts in Category: Crafty Wench
In other words, goodbye. Not goodbye in the absolute sense. More so in that I’m moving on, embracing all of my creative/professional/wellness profession(s) and putting them into one big pot of multidisciplinary, multiple streams of (modest) income action.
This blog, as it exists now, shall make its exit. While Jen and I had some baby plans for this website, alas, it is a project that we just did not have enough time to come together on. Besides, that woman is entirely ROCKING her career as an Indigenous writer, director and producer! (Her new site and social media graphics BTW, collaborated on by yours truly!)
I’m trying to keep things simple with this post, to compliment the framework I’m manifesting for my professional self. Where the lines blur personally; as a digital storyteller, as an advocate for women’s health, a social media and branding dabbler; and someone who generally gives a damn.
A new selena [dot] mills [dot] com site is coming soon. Outlining my professional services and workshops (both online in creative/public spaces). I’ll still have a blog to tie into my humble wellness coaching practice, sharing recipes and personal stories about my own journey in mothering; enriched and healthful well-being.
There is one last exciting project (HA! Last project! From my mouth!) that I am collaborating on with four other fierce, mystic, entrepreneurial, health-revering women … but I’m not going to any more detail on that for now. It’s been slow, organic and so rewarding on a deeply personal level to work with these women and our loyal clients that if we never do more than what we’re doing RIGHT NOW together; I would be happy. I’m attracted to humanitarian eccentrics and dominatrixes. Generous, courageous, women. I’m also passionate about empowering other women in business AND health (including myself!), and apparently we’re onto something good, so blaze new trails we shall. We’ve been tackling emotional and mental clutter together and we continue to work with other women (and a few choice men who revel in such supportive folds), and leading by example. We focus on sharing personal values and “mindful” decision-making.
I lead a top secret community group on Facebook and create daily prompts/exercises with services that include:
→ Healthy eating strategies and recipe sharing
→ Meal planning and meal prep resources/ideas (PDF recipe and nutrition guides, grocery lists, etc.)
→ Online workout reviews
→ Assistance with choosing realistic, at-home fitness program to suit the individual’s likes/dislikes and/or physical restrictions/limitations
→ Personal development exercises: goal mapping (career, relationships, understanding triggers, trauma work, healing, digging deep)
→ Daily encouragement, self-care, mindfulness routines and activities where we lead by example
→ Accountability check-ins EVERY DAY
→ Endless support in a guilt and shame free zone
→ Having FUN!
We specialize in working with those who:
→ Have dietary restrictions due to auto-immune, inflammatory or other diseases
→ Live with food disorder(s)
→ Have PTSD and other related mental illnesses
→ Are women and/or mothers whose own own self-care has fallen completely off their daily to-do list(s)
In addition, I’ll be running short, group-based, online workshops (again, private FB groups) for:
→ Sparking Creative Fires (last month we did a BETA run of Vision Boarding in our main group!)
→ Sugar Detox
→ Bullet Journaling
Instead of focusing on a number on the scale, we focus our energy on being healthy, what that means, and how to get there. If you’re curious about joining us for the month of November (active membership is only $10 bucks a month), email me for more info and we’ll get you started! This month’s theme is all about turning up the heat, going deep, playing bigger and getting things DONE.
This will be my last post here and I wanted to gift y’all with something pretty, something you can print and hang where you’ll see it everyday. These words represent much of what I’m doing right now. I shared two versions of this inspo print with the fabulous women in Being Boss group on FB and got such an wickedly supportive response that I couldn’t choose, (compared with what my clients in our private group preferred), which was the whole reason I was asking for feedback, to help me choose which one to share. So pick the one you prefer.
Part of my multidisciplinary-arts-professional-self, will include selling some prints from time to time on my soon-to-be rekindled Etsy Shop (under a new name), so consider this my free gift to you, pre-launch. (And by launch I mean, I don’t have grand plans for the Etsy shop venture, I’m just going to post listings of things I’m already making and creating now and then. No craft shows, no eggs all in one basket sort of thing. How liberating!) Hand-drawn, hand-painted, scanned and cleaned up in PS from me to you!
Free printable: CLICK HERE for a high res PDF download SANS Shadow, CLICK HERE to download the shadow action. Please share your prints on IG of FB with me, and even use the tag #giveadamn if you’re into that sort of thing. Can’t wait to see where you hang them!
The winter has been long and the crafting and visualizing and dreaming and mapping and tackling has been much. Here’s a bit of what our hands have been up to, feeding our spirits and continuing to make our home uniquely our own. Where our hearts live and dragons breathe fire on occasion, when it all becomes too much. So we make felt and pipe cleaner crowns and wands and hope it’s magic enough until the frost breaks. (Which it did, and then it didn’t, and then it did … and we’re currently in a state of blizzardy DIDN’T.) The making of said crowns and wands turned more into a mom-craft than a kid-craft as they lost interest, but they still have fun playing with them anyways.
Our home: where no one else knows and no one else but us, my little family … sees the joys and failures of each day. As long as we use our hands to gather hugs, make art and build pretty things, I’m confident, all will be fine. I know I breathe fire a lot less when tapping into creativity and art. Something I hope to continue to pass onto my chldren. Play is the work of childhood after all, as Maria Montessori so simple yet brilliantly coined many moons ago.
Below are some floating shelves I’ve been conjuring upon since last summer, using galvanized steel, pine I measured, had cut at the good ‘ole Home Depot, stained and cured myself. Of course I measured the pipe I had cut wrong, but everything else was perfect, I swear! If not for some very good friends who came over to help, we would have been doomed. (I’m talking to you Sean! And Char, your lovely wife for holding up the windows that I had to take down one by one and clean, inclding all the runners and all the yuck. At 10 o’clock at night. When you were both supposed to be our dinner guests. And I fed you vegetarian that was spicy. Becasue of course.)
Anyways, aren’t they pretty? I had a hard time getting good photos since the shelves hover over a window, hence an epic battle with natural light and all, but you’ll have to trust me, they are quite dreamy and my kicthen is slowly turning into the unique, totally custom, inviting headquartes of magic-making, love-making, , ecclectic, homestead-y, jungalow type of warmth that I’ve been dreaming about …
For you because sometimes I’m nice, if you dig it … use it. Free high res download here: print | hang | post | share | pin | Insta | credit
That up there is one of my favourite early photos from Toronto based touring songwriter Kristin Sweetland’s self-portrait photography series, ‘Adventures in Sweetland.’ I first met Kristin as one of my husband’s dearest friends, many moons ago when we first started dating. I was immediately smitten with her mysterious and creative ways. She’s the kind of woman who emanates artistic sensuality and a dark fire, yet constant grace and sweet friendliness. An air of fantasy and intrigue embodies all that she does. You at once become entranced with her intoxicating, witchy ways, if you’re lucky enough to meet her.
My husband describes her as a surprisingly and uniquely brilliant musician and photographer; a friend he has loved and admired for 15 years. A mind that flirts the line between the innocent and the macabre.
For years I’ve been blown away by her vision and the flawless execution which she unfurls into her photography. This is completely her alone at work here, using a tripod or mirrors and other tricks she may or may not tell you about. She definitely doesn’t have someone following her around snapping the shots. Most of them feature herself as the subject of muse and at times, she opens up the lens to include those she travels with on tour as a musician.
This collection dates back as far as 1999. That’s nearly 16 years. I would say it’s about damn time she released a book of her work and had an exhibition of equally (to her) fanciful proportions. The book layout is designed by Toronto-based promoter and graphic designer Michael “A Man Called” Wrycraft, who has worked on album covers for Bruce Cockburn, The Trews and Sweetland`s most recent instrumental project: Captain Dirt & the Skirt, amongst literally hundreds of others.
The Adventures in Sweetland series began when Kristin was given an assignment in a photography course at the University of Victoria to document her emotions through a series of self-portraits. The class ended, but the series never stopped. Watch the video teaser for this project…
When we’re longing for days like this…
And our once sun-drenched skin cries out for more; mere lotion alone, for most, is but a joke. Most kids I know, mine included, get dry, itchy skin in the winter…and so do I. I also have sensitive skin, and thus, so do my children. I’ve never been a fan of drugstore brand creams and salves. The holistic brands while worth it, are usually quite expensive. So, long ago, back when I did that artisan thing…I dabbled in apothecary and herbalism and made what at the time, I dubbed: Cheeky Bum Salve. It was one of my top sellers on-line and at shows. It’s the one thing people are still emailing me for and is well requested from family and friends. It took me a while to perfect it and now I have a luxuriously versatile, healing and moisturizing salve.
We especially go through a lot of this salve in the winter to stave of ‘winter cheeks’ and chapped lips, that babies, toddlers, kids (even the big ones) are prone to, especially if they live in the polar vortex and still love to play outside. Complimented by the fact that kids are always getting cuts and scrapes and who needs a bunch of different creams and salves for all the things? While initially making this may not be what most would consider, ‘easy’ … you definitely won’t regret it. Slather it on your feet and put socks on overnight. Use it as a carrier with other oils for massage and to rub into the soles of your little ones’ feet and their chest when they’re sick. Use it in place of Polysporin or in place of a medicated salve for burns, cuts and scrapes.
I currently have some slathered on my hand, due to a rather nasty burn I gave myself last night cooking dinner. Of course, it’s a fantastic diaper rash salve and everyday little cheeky bum protectant. I don’t wait until Abby or Wyndham have dry chapped cheeks or lips to use this though, I use it as a protectant, in the same way I did when they were in diapers. I have been extra diligent this year as last winter they both got horribly chapped lips hat were painful to look at and Abby especially, took a long-time to heal, application after application. Now it’s a part of our morning routine before we go out in the morning and to bed at night. All over the face, just a bit. On their thighs and outer arms and back, all the places that get really dry in the winter, in addition to cream, after every bath. In staying on top of their skin-care this way we’ve managed to get to February without any outbreaks. The bonus is that they look forward to all the massages and have gotten into the habit of asking for applications of the salve. If you’re wondering just how versatile this salve is in addition to all that I’ve mentioned, check out the full list below…
What to say? We’ve been recovering / steeping in new health diagnoses and recovery. Jen will fill you all in on her news when she’s ready, as for us…well. Part of me doesn’t want to get into it because it’s gotten to the point of feeling over-the-top. Ludicrous even. I wrote a Facebook status a few nights ago that seemed to humour quite a few people with it’s dark embrace. For those of you who aren’t in the know I’m going to cheat and copy and paste that status here.
“Oh Christmas of 2014. December has been a month of saying goodbye to pneumonia and hello to the extraction of my wisdom teeth to be met by dry socket (don’t google that). Gout diagnosis (the husband). Unplanned holiday shopping ending in too much Frozen crap. Currently nursing (and by nursed I mean vodka at this point, because really I just need to laugh off these past 6 weeks off) cracked rib and a hairline arm fracture from wiping out on that bitch Ariel’s stupid mermaid tail on the stairs. And yet, I still have faith in my paleo cookie baking prowess and my house looks badass, in the way that a real tree, magazine worthy mantle action and overdone twinkle lights at every corner a la Martha Stewart wannabe styling can accomplish. This will be a holiday to remember that’s for sure. I hate to say it but it would appear as though Disney has been more than partially responsible for my demise. This should probably be a blog post since I haven’t updated that in a good month or so complete with perfect bokeh shots, but meh. I have carrots to peel and Baileys to switch to. Don’t judge my self-medication and yes, I’m popping pain pills at this point too! I dare say I’m going into 2015 with a streak of honesty if anything. *Hits post*”
I have a turkey to brine and presents to wrap, moving at a bout 1/2 the pace I usually do, so. Please enjoy a few snaps of that which my alter ego Martha Fishwater finds deep pleasure in executing: holiday styling.
Not to leave out all other boutonnières-y type wearing affairs, hence the more part. Let it be known that 2014 is indeed the year of the boutonnières. I’m seeing men (and women! SO HOT) bust them out for all types of casual and memorable fancy dress occasions and I have to say – I’m a fan.
I’m not one to wax poetic about making crafts, it’s really quite simple. I love making things, I’am a crafty bitch and I’m good at it. That’s it, that’s all. We’ll save the prose and narrative for other topics yes? When it comes to crafts and recipes around here, I think I’m going to keep things highly visual, honing in on my photography skills and informative. Step by step, but not as if you’re a JK student. (Unless that’s what you’re looking for and if that’s the case you can always email me – not Jen – she hates crafts. I LOVE getting emails! I currently have over 1K unread in my inbox! Sidenote? I really have to manage my subscriptions. Don’t worry, I get back to everyone that I’m supposed to.)
Onto these fresh little lapel decorations. (All DIY photos by me and all wedding photos by Ratul Debnath of Image Pros Photography)
What’s a wedding without a party? Who likes to party? The answers are, not much – and we do!
I’ve thought long and hard on how I might prose this (largely) pictorial style wrap to the sharing of our wedding photos. Why? (Another question, oh yes.) Well, largely in part because the location of our reception turned out to be rather unfortunate. Not in our enjoyment for the evening of (more or less), but most definitely in the after-math.
I won’t say another thing about it but to link to a review (and other reviews at the end of the fun) when I’m good and ready at the end of this post. (I’ll edit and link-up when that happens.) Because – well – this was our wedding. We don’t want to continue to mar the beauty of the day with any more negativity than that which has already been attempted. We, our guests – our family and friends; set a stellar space, the music flowed (as did a few other libations) and the glow of love and joy was huge. That’s it, that’s all this post should be about; yet on the good word of some colleagues and those who are in the know…it wouldn’t be right to promote said business in a shining light given our experiences.
So I hope you understand the vagueness (I’m sure some of you want the scoop, who doesn’t love a dirty scoop – especially when it comes to a small wedding, in a small town at a local business?) You’ll have to wait for those reviews my pretties and just enjoy the positive flow of these photos. There is a video yet to come and a couple of posts over on Babble where I’ll highlight the kids’ involvement in our wedding a bit more.
Help us lift the memory of our evening up in the light, grace, style and class that it deserves…and leave the rest in the past, my friends. (All amazing photography by Ratul Debnath of Image Pros Photography. You can see PART ONE, The Ceremony, by clicking here.)
There are many things that I could share about our wedding; from the love and support that came pouring in from all directions to help with every little detail and DIY project, (in advance and in the very hour before), our traditional Midewiwin ceremony on the shores of Kempenfelt Bay just down the street from our home and our (questionably – we’ll link to some service reviews down the road) fabulous reception.
It was a day – and night – that we’ll always remember as being remarkable in it’s wild journey, yet final serene moment – that brought is walking through the Eastern Door to honouring our central and third fire. To honour our love, our relationship, our children, our family and let go of any pain from the past.
It was in said wildness of the day that as each love-filled, hectic moment continued, that I tried to savour and ruminate in what I un-folding – but, truth be told – as most brides expereince supposes – my mind was racing and my hands were in a myriad of projects to be finished in time. I definitely wasn’t at the spa getting my make-up and hair done, sipping champagne. Which is fine. I wanted to do a (mostly) DIY wedding and that’s exactly what it was, with everyone we love and who loves us, helping (as if they had a choice!) along on our (my?) quest.
When I received our wedding pictures last night I took pleasure in re-visiting our day, which is the point really. Everyone loves wedding photos – they are a visual, time-less testament and I am deeply grateful to our dear friend Ratul Debnath of Image Pros Photography for lending us his expertise. He is a kind and generous soul that has a place at our dinner table, in our hearts and in our family forevermore. (Thanks dude, for being you.)
We have A LOT of pictures so I’ve decided to break things up into two parts, today’s pictorial is all about the ceremony, beginning with some behind-the-scenes action in our home.