Friday, December 30, 2011

2011- The year that changed everything.

2011 will be known around here as the year that everything changed.  It all started with an email.  “A long email.  I’ve been thinking.” It was titled. 

But let me go farther back than that.  My husband and I had been looking for a new home for at least 4 or 5 years.  Yes, years.  Our little house was getting too small now that we had two kids, two dogs and a nanny squished in.  But it was extremely difficult to find something that we both liked.  He wanted space to spread out.  He’s a mechanic so ample outside parking and garage space is a minimum requirement.  He would joke that he was looking for an acereage in town.  In town because I refused to move to a real acereage – you know, the kind where you’re isolated and spend your weekends mowing your gigantic lawn and driving kids places.

And then one day I woke up.  I started thinking about what I wanted in an ideal life.  I had been so busy trying to figure out how to shoe horn my husband’s long term vision into our current life (it didn’t fit) that I’d forgotten to dream for myself.  And just for fun I let my imagination run wild and be as idealistic as possible (I am usually trying to rein in the idealism!).  And this plan started to form that fit exactly into an acereage.  In fact it blossomed into an even bigger plan – a homestead – with chickens and bees and gardens and children running and playing in the woods, and that’s what we’re working on these days.

And so the conversation began with the email titled “A long email.  I’ve been thinking.”, and my poor husband had no idea that my entire perspective had shifted.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Colours of Winter

I snatched a rare moment this morning to run around outside, camera in hand.  The colours this winter seem to be yellow and blue.

Fox footprints dance lightly on top of the snow crust where I saw them playing in the moonlight last night.  I was worrying about how I would get down the driveway in the morning, they were enjoying eachother's company and the night.

Winter season is so intense.  Bright snow and early dark skies, cold wind, cozy by the fire, time spent with loved ones, trying to fit it all in.  The intense yellow and opposite blue of snow and light seem to represent it all.

And yet, there is subtlety and gentleness in the between moments if we make the time to look.

Our new neighbours are a delight to get to know.

There is a new one in their midst and he's having trouble fitting in.   I remember being that kid.  I'm so glad it doesn't matter anymore.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Maggie's Horses

I had the opportunity to photograph these two beauties this summer:

I found myself saying over and over, wow, you are just so gorgeous! (to the horses) 
They are mother and son, Arabians,
who hold a dear spot in the heart of my friend Maggie.
We chose to meet an hour before sunset on the most gorgeous day of the year. 

 Though I must confess I don't know much about horses, I approached this portrait session just as I would if they were people, looking for the spirit, the personality, the beauty, the relationships, the story.  
I believe you can photograph anything that way.

And it really doesn't hurt to have the most beautiful models around!

p.s. I must thank my friend Lelainia (@tatterededge on twitter) for the advice (and blog post) on this project.

Friday, October 28, 2011

We've moved

I feel like the first couple of weeks after having a baby - when you think will I ever cook a meal again? How will I manage to do that? I keep moving in the direction of my computer to get to those photos and write a proper blog post, but I never quite make it.  You'll just have to accept my apology for the too-long absence and really bad cell phone pictures.  It's all I can do for right now.

So, yes, We've moved.  It was crazy and hectic and we're still recovering.  I can't wait to be really settled.  I'm such a homebody.  Would you look at that sunset, though, seriously.  Who wouldn't want to just park themselves in front of the window with all that going on outside. (it's much better for real.  In real life there are mountains, but I would need a real camera lens for that) Our new place is pretty amazing.  We wake up every morning and think do I really get to live here?

Case in point, on the 5th day, this little guy was born right outside our window. (It ended sadly, he never was able to stand up on his own.) Epic.

We really do have the best neigh-bours. har har. I'll post more later. 
I can't help but thinking that this is a huge step in a new direction for us and I'm so excited of what is to come.  Truly, life right now is like a summer strawberry that you just took a bite out of, dripping and sweet and so delicious.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

This summer:

Having a camera phone around this summer meant catching so many small memories of everyday things. For that I am truly grateful.

Monday, August 29, 2011

From the garden:

2011 has been the year of the raspberry.  I pick at least 5 cups of delicious berries every other day from my back yard.  These are all volunteer plants - I didn't plant any of them on purpose.  We eat them just like grama served them to us - with some milk and sugar for dessert.  Actually, grama would probably have used cream, but it's still delicious with milk.  If there are any berries left we freeze them for winter - oh, can you imagine the sunkissed sweetness in the middle of January? So Yum.

Also in my garden this year:

Something, I suspect a mole, has been digging and chewed through all of my pea stems.  I'm glad we got as many peas off as we did, they were mighty fine, and growing really well.  I will have to remember to plant those again.

The house we are hoping to buy has gardens, oh boy, the gardens!   I might as well go ahead and tell you, it's an acreage!  Our very own homestead.  I've got big dreams of chickens and honeybees, Saskatoons and of course, raspberries.  I'm making lists.  Lists of the things that my grama used to grow (she lived on a farm not too far from here), lists of things that grow well here, lists of foods we like to eat.  All the while praying and hoping for our little house to sell so we can make these dreams real.  

Thursday, August 25, 2011

At Peace with our house.

Big changes happening here chez Silver Sisters.
First of which (chronologically), Selling our house.
Anyone who's sold a house before knows that it can really stress your relationship with your home.  
All you see are the flaws, the reasons no one will ever ever buy it, how it doesn't fit you anymore.  
But I remind myself that we bought it once, not so very long ago, and we were so happy to have it.  

It's been a good house.  We brought 2 babies home to this house.  
Made a home away from home for a nanny,  chased a naughty puppy around this house.
Nurtured our old dog for the last time in this house.

I love all the corners of this house.  The light. The wood floors. The crazy paint colors.
I even like that it's small, because that just makes it cozy.    

(But boy do we have big dreams, big plans, I can't wait to tell you.)

p.s. Ailsa says she likes the soft carpet in her bedroom best.

Friday, July 29, 2011

This Moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual over at A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

This post is not about Chocolate

This photo is not about chocolate, it is about light.  And shadow.  Composition.  Contrast.

There are so many ways to learn things, so many different paths to knowing.
I am thinking about my own path, where I am in my own learning, and taking strange shots like this one just for fun.
I've seen so many debates lately about the difference between professional photographers and amateurs who think they are professionals.  And I wonder how it is that anyone can expect to cross from amateur to professional in this kind of hostile climate.  I've come to the conclusion that it doesn't really much matter.  Just keep shooting the work that you are drawn to and don't worry about what other people think. 
Usually in these rants the photographers are quite concerned that "photography is dead" and "no one appreciates a good photograph anymore" which I believe couldn't be farther from the truth.  So many people taking photographs means so many more people appreciating photographs, and looking critically at them.  This can only be good for the industry.  I see a renaissance in people who are genuinely excited about great photography.  How is this a bad thing?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

I am:

(Photo of light.  The best part of summer, imo.  
So much light to photograph in this northern hemisphere.  
Totally off topic. grin. for 52photos.)

My word of the year is change.  It sounded good the time.  change.

Change means being vulnerable.  And I am feeling wide, wide open.  Like a hermit crab without a shell.

I keep hearing messages about taking giant leaps into the unknown and following your dreams.  Facing your fears head on, blah blah.

But I can't help wonder how you know if the grass is really greener on the other side.  How do you know if you want the change because everything sounds better than whatever it is you're doing right now?  I'm really sincere in this question.  If you have any thoughts, please share in the comments.  I am thinking of taking a giant leap but how do you know if it's really as great as imagined?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Heart You.

“Mom, Mom, you forgot the I!”

I Heart You.
It was a message for her dad.
Made from strawberry tops and cookie cutters
photographed and emailed.

Heart You.
was the message I saw. Love you.
Give yourself a great big hug just because.
And smile, because you are worthy of it.

(for 52photosprojects one word. )

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Thoughts on Exercise. #2

On exercise:
You may remember I posted about exercise at the beginning of May.  About getting out and doing *something* 5 days a week in that month to kickstart an exercise habit.  The most important part is not that I nearly accomplished that goal, but that I figured out what is keeping me from exercising.  


yes, those days I didn't want to go out I was just plain old tired.  So, that's obviously what I need to work on next.  It's hard to get enough sleep because after the kids go to bed is my one time to do things for me.   Especially when hubby's not home.  Gosh, this ballance thing is tough.

To kick my butt a little further on my goal to get more exercise I've signed up for a running class.  Yes, I know, I'm not a runner.  Really not a runner, but I'm seeing this as a grand challenge. (and now that I paid money for it I am sure to stick to it.)  If nothing else I'll have gotten a bit more exercise and will be able to say I've tried it.  Given it a really good shot.  Who knows, I might even enjoy running.  It's possible, right?  I am actually really really looking forward to diving in.

(here is a link to the running class.  It's online so you can do it anywhere, and the registration is open until aprox June 17th.  join me?)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

I don't know what this means, but it can't be good.

ok, so this is really funny.  I'm not a frilly kind of girl who doodles hearts all over her notebook pages.  I'm just not, ok! 

But then, thumbing through my photos searching for a certain one for this week's 52photosproject theme...

And I find heart after heart after heart.  Hmmm.....  All taken in the last couple of months.  I'm not sure what this all means, but it can't be good.

1. Found in a neighbourhood I walk through everyday on my way home from work.  There must be someone interesting living there.  Probably the people with the crocheted car.  Maybe as well as the people with the crocheted car.  I love that it says heart and home and that someone just left it there for whoever to see.

2. Daughter's valentines picture.  She used it as the front of her homemade valentines cards for her classmates (we made one and photocopied, there were 50 kids in that class).  The picture is SOOC and we only took two.  I was giddy 'cause I knew we'd nailed it.

3. My newest favourite way to send boiled eggs in lunches.  In heart shapes.  This is ridiculously easy.  tutorial here.

4. Someone left this on my phone for me to find (tilt your head to the right).  See photo 2 above. LOVE.


These are the days I will remember forever.
Days so full they're bursting at the seams with joy.
I never thought I'd be quite so in love as a parent.
Life before seems as shades of grey.

But we didn't know it then.

My heart aches with love for them,
that I get to be the parent to two most amazing people.
To witness their souls at such a close level,
is a rare joy indeed.
Sometimes all you hear is parents complaining
and I want you also to hear about the joy
because in the end there is only joy.

for 52 photos project: Remember

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


This weekend was Victoria Day Long weekend in Canada, and for us, as many, it was the first camping weekend of the year. We were all loaded in the truck and ready to go when it was discovered.

A massive leak in out trailer roof.  What you are looking at here is the insulation held up by vapor barrier (plastic) after the soggy roof panels were removed.  We've poked a big hole in the plastic and water is running out into the bucket.  See how it is bowing? Water. Lots.

Does my husband look not impressed?  He's a mechanic and used to fixing broken things and I admire him for not freaking right out.  We took it in stride, really (I followed his cue as I'm normally the one to react, um.... strongly). He didn't seem annoyed even, just got down to the work of fixing it. 

We ended up removing a good portion of the roof and rebuilding it.  Renovating, as it were.  What a mess.  I ran around the disaster scene with my camera.  That part was fun, at least.

But don't worry, there was plenty of time for this:

and this:
We worked out butts off and still managed to get out to the mountains for a couple of days camping.  And it was pretty darn awesome to hang out with these guys for a couple of solid days.

(Water is the theme for 52photosproject this week.  Go check out more photographs on the theme)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Bookmark - Spring

I feel like I need to bookmark this time.  I took this photo on Friday.  The first leaves are finally opening and spring is officially here.  It's been a long, wet, cold winter here and we are sure appreciating the opportunity to leave the windows open at night, to play outside in bare feet and to finally take the bicycles out into the neighbourhood.  Ahhh spring, so full of promise and joy.  Exhale.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011



Firmly planted.

Like a tree swaying in a strong wind or reaching up toward the sunshine with roots firmly planted, anchoring, providing stability.

My feet are rooted, my body is still so I can do the work.
for "I found it on the ground" with 52 photos project.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


2 weeks ago it rained and then snowed and then froze.  I started out at 6 am as usual, drove up the hill, and then back down it and went back to bed.  It's not worth going to work on days like that.  On the way home I had the fortune of following the snowplow, and here's what I saw out my windshield.  Yellow and Red, Snowplow Ahead. The yellow streak?  That's the reflection of the lights in the ice that coated the entire road.  That's what you look for to see how slippery the road really is. 

I took this photo with my iPhone as proof of how bad the roads really were.  It's the photo I thought of when I saw 52 photo project's prompt for the week: color.  I love all the bright primaries.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

On Creativity.

I am an artist.
I am not prolific (right now).
But I am always an artist.

I have seen this pattern before.
I get excited.
I create.

Something happens.
A glitch.
My camera breaks
or I get sick
or computers are silly.
(aren’t they always silly?)

And I stop.
Temporarily turns into a long time.
Because Life keeps going.
And the excitement is gone.

Until that spark hits me again.
(because it always does eventually)
And I delve into creating.
Something new.
Something completely new.

This time I am pushing through.
I am not stopping.
I don’t want to start over again every time.

Because this is what you do
when you really love something.

This is what I think it means
to be a Serious Artist.

Monday, May 2, 2011

On Exercise

You might remember I mentioned it here - one of my goals for the year is to get exercising. Well, It’s May already (yikes!) and I need a plan.
If you want to make a change commit to doing that thing everyday for 30 days and it becomes a habit, so here is my plan.

I hereby commit to doing some sort of exercise for 45 minutes 6 days a week until the end of May.

Why? If you are clear on your goals then it’s easier to stick to your plan. I want to be healthier. I want to be able to breathe deeper, feel stronger, run longer with my kids, and yes, feel better about my body.

How? I know I need exercise, but I’m not really excited about it. That’s why I’m challenging myself to just do it. I really need to just start, and stop making excuses. I like Leo’s take on it here. I’ll start with walking and yoga and keep looking for other things to do. Maybe I’ll get out the roller blades. Exercise should be fun and part of your normal life so that you keep doing it. Exercise is part of living.

When and Where? ok, so a new activity does not “fit” into my schedule at all. But this is uber important. The only flexible time during the week is my lunchbreak. That’s usually my creative time, but if I’m going to get some exercise that’s the only time I can really see it happening regularly. I’m hoping to fit in creative time (also Sooo important to me) in the evenings and weekends which is a better fit anyways because I’m at home where my tools are, it’s easier to do with the kids around, and it fits into small chunks of available time.

And with that, I’m off for a walk. I think I’ve got a podcast or two to listen to on the way to spice it up.

I’ll check back in at the end of May to let you know how it’s going. And now that I’ve said it out loud this will keep me accountable.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


The first photo prompt is up at 52 Photos Project, a new community for photographers.  Nourish.
This photo was taken when I was sick and at work earlier this year.  
Hot lemon is always my drink when I've got a cold.  Equal parts lemon juice and honey.  Mix with hot or cold water depending on the season and your mood.  I try to keep a jar of the concentrate in the fridge at all times.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Take Back the Weekend: Check!

Take Back The Weekend::
:: Hosted dinner with some of the incredible women in my family. A relaxed, joyful evening together (they even did the dishes!).
:: Made paper easter eggs with my kids. Where we all sat down together and created. No rules or big expectations, just fun.
:: Spent a whole afternoon with the sweetest little niece. Oh, baby cuddles!
:: Showed her the pussywillows and creek where we spend so much time.
:: Had a lovely dinner out with my sister and her little family and me and my little family where the 14 month old ate more than the 3 yr old and the almost 7 yr old combined.
:: Drafted a pattern for, cut out and half sewed a pair of summer pyjamas for a certain little person.
:: Made muffins (new half batch recipe!), cobbler (first time ever) and turkey stock.
:: Took photos – over 300 of them! Some of the niece, some of kids being kids, some more self-portrait work.
:: Finished it off with dinner with family and a video call with my far away sister.

It was a pretty great weekend. We followed our hearts and it was just what we needed.
(see here – we did all that.)

I was pretty sad by the end of Sunday. I was thinking of all the cleaning up I’d done, all the things I wished we’d gotten time for, the pictures I took that I hated, the stuff I still need to deal with in real life. It was a great break, but we need more of them. Working full time and raising a family take up just about all the energy I’ve got. Lately I’ve been stressed out about my daughter’s health issues and I’ve been noticing this undercurrent of worry about it. I know I haven’t talked about it much in this space, but in my world it’s always there. I wish I could solve it but I can’t and I know I need to stop blaming myself for it.

So what is this post about? The good stuff, the bad stuff, and how it all goes down. The meat of life and how all it all comes together to make today. This is what life’s like at my house these days. All the messy bits and pieces and the rays of sunshine, too.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Take Back The Weekend!

Allright, folks.  I've been trying to post something forever but none of my technology is working nicely together lately.  Really, it's a mess.  But I just have to tell you about our new initiative, it's called Take Back the Weekend! Our lives have been so structured and busy lately that we need a break.  A breather.  A Pause.  It's just me and the kids home for this long weekend so we're taking it back!  Here's the plan to take back this weekend and live with intention:

No grocery shopping.  Grocery shopping takes up so much time and I think we can eat from our freezer and pantry until hubby gets home on Wednesday.  It's an opportunity to be creative.

No driving. We're sticking close to home, walking if we need to go somewhere, not rushing.

Eat fiber, drink water.  Getting back to basics with things.  Our daughter has health issues and we need to always be aware of fiber and water intake for her (among other things).

Get outside. Exercise.  Bodies need fresh air, sunlight and movement to be healthy.  If it snows we'll do some yoga inside.  Or go out and make a snowman.

Be aware of screen time.  This is more for me than the kids.  I don't want to spend the weekend watching uTube videos.  It's so easy to get completely sucked in and loose days at a time.

Do something I've been meaning to do. Probably cleaning or reorganizing. I'll feel much better if I get just one thing done. But I'm not tackling the whole to do list.

Take some pictures.  My soul needs some art.  Hopefully I can get them out of the computer afterwards, but I have to trust that the technology issues will eventually get wored out.  Eventually.

How are you taking back your weekend?

Monday, March 28, 2011


The last class for the You Are Your Own Muse Workshop was last week. 
I thought you might be interested in some of my favourite photos from the class.

Twirling. I took a lot of shots of twirling and dancing etc, but this one was the best. 
It's harder than you'd think to get a good shot of twirling.
I thought I would take tonnes and tonnes of shots of twirling
(maybe because I thought I should)
but I'm actually not much of a twirler in real life. 
I relate more to stillness.

One of my favourites because of my co-star in the kitchen.
The title should say: These are the days I will remember.

I spent hours and hours on this one and still am not sure what it's about.
Sometimes you're called to say something and you don't even really know what you're up to.

This one is about a sense of place.  I feel really connected to this land.
Part of it, one might say.

I love these shadowy, ghosty images.

While we were all learning to photoshop our photos to create something interesting
I took a simpler approach and traced. 
Yes, traced.

I'm saving my favourite favourite photo for last (as in next post)
due to technicalities I won't even get into right now. 

Sometimes I would create a photo and then think to myself
that this was what I came here to express and I'd done it and so now what. 
But the next week I'd pick up the camera again
and astound myself by creating something that took my breath away again.

And now I'm at the end of the class thinking to myself what am I going to do now?
I'm craving community, and I still long for art that explores meaning. 
I'm at a bend in the path again, and can't quite see around the corner.
(would love to hear your comments.)

(p.s. many more photos here in case you're interested.)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Inspired by all sorts of blog posts this January, I picked change as my word of the year for 2011 (I realize I’m really late telling you this – bad blogger). I didn’t realize until later what I had done and how far reaching this word would be.
To go with this word I had three goals, things I wanted to change in a fundamental way.
1. How I manage finances
2. How I approach work
3. Getting some exercise

Without getting into details I will say that I’ve made great strides on the first 2 goals, and still have 9 months to work out a strategy on the third. But that’s not so much what this post is about.


There have been unexpected CHANGEs, too.

I’ve switched my focus from selling handmade items to making art and making things for my family (I talked a bit about that here). That one change has given me so much freedom in my creating because it only has to please one person – me. I think I’ve grown a lot in my art – it’s imbued with more meaning as I experiment to make images that are not only beautiful, but convey meaning as well. It’s a big step.

I have a feeling that the biggest changes this year are still to come. My husband has just accepted a job that requires him to be away from home quite a lot. He’s so excited for the amazing opportunity that it’s contagious. I find it intriguing that I’m not as freaked about this as I think I should be. I used to be the girl who hated change. The girl who fought it, moaned and moped about it before accepting it, grudgingly. This year I am welcoming change, creating it even, and maybe even having some fun with it.

Knock on wood that things don’t get too crazy around here – it’s only March afterall!

Friday, March 4, 2011

I have to show you this photo for no other reason except that I love it.

It represents to me an idea, not just a moment.

It represents inner light.

Acknowledging the spiritual being.

Acknowledging striving.

Acknowledging optimism.

Acknowledging hope.