Signature Placement tutorial

So I made this tutorial about how to sign your art works a few years ago and was recently reminded of it, so I thought I would share it on my blog.   As a picture framer, I’ve tried to outline here the basics as a lot of artists don’t really know what happens to their work after it’s sold 😉

hope you find it useful!!




The Prickly business of Rejection



We’re all afraid of it.

We all avoid it.

It’s uncomfortable.  Embarrassing.  It steals your confidence.  Maybe a little bit of your soul.

And most times, it just plan old hurts.

What a good reason to just never step out of our comfort zones and take a risk, right?

The thing is, by risking nothing, we also gain nothing.

Sure, it’s easier to hide your talents, your thoughts, your ideas, your wants or your needs.  It’s easier to never stick your neck out and dare to ask for more or better.  It’s easier to just create our own little box of comfort and relax in it, never having to worry about those protective walls coming down.

But at the same time, nothing risked; nothing gained.  You’ll never know what could have been if you never try.  It takes guts..  to put yourself out there like that.  To let people see your vulnerable spots.  To risk the hurt, embarrassment and loss of confidence.

I remember when I, who has always been afraid of my own shadow, first tried to break into the needlework industry.  I meekly sent in my designs and I was rejected.   It hurt.  I kinda wanted to just throw up my hands and say “I suck!” and quit.  It would have been the easy thing to do..  to slink off into the corner and lick my wounds.

But I decided to try again.  And again…

It took six tries before my designs were accepted.  Damn..  I wanted to quit -but I had someone in my corner urging me not to give up.  And so I kept torturing myself, time after time, rejection after rejection.

When I was finally accepted……. I almost fell out of my chair!  I was SO excited!   Then suddenly it all seemed so worth it.

But even then it wasn’t smooth sailing.  I still had to have every single design accepted.  Through three publishers and several magazines over the years, each design was a risk; an assault on my confidence.

But you know what?  I got tougher.  I learned how to take criticism.  Oh – it was hard, all right.  I raged and I cried and I swore and I spent a good deal of time being pissed off.  But I learned, and I accepted and I practiced taking it.  It got easier as time went on.  I actually got good at it…  sort of.. ;P

Many of my biggest achievements and accomplishments in life came from putting myself out there and risking rejection.  My life is what it is today, because I took a chance at asking that boy out in high school even though it scared me to death.  luckily, he said yes.

This week my photography was rejected by a place I applied to and …….. it hurt.  yeah.  It did.  If I’m honest with myself, it did.  Even though I expected it, I prepared myself for rejection and felt sure that I wasn’t going to get accepted…..when it came down to it, it still sucked.  But it wasn’t the first time.  And it won’t be the last.

But that’s ok.  I’ll try again some time.  And again, and again.  And eventually something good will happen.  And if it never does, at least I know I tried.  I can feel good about that, and know that I gave myself a chance to find out instead of sitting there years from now not knowing what could have happened if only I’d taken a chance.

So…….. take a chance.  Throw yourself out there and be vulnerable.  You may bleed a little, but you’ll heal.
Sure, you could fall….  but what if you fly?

Clearing The Cob Webs

Clearing the Cob Webs

Every now and again we need to give things a good cleaning out.  Some call it spring cleaning, or deep cleaning, or what ever manner of description.

What ever you call it – it’s all the same thing.  A whole lot of work.  An exhausting task.  Not at all comfortable while you are doing it, but a necessity.

 Even our minds can become gunked up with goo.  Old resentments.  Worries.  Fears. Grudges. Anger.  Hate.  envy…… you name it the list is long.

 After a while there become little room for the good things that feed your soul.  Happiness.  Joy.  Sunshine. Forgiveness.  Kindness.  Caring.  Empathy.  Peace.  Calm.  Love.

 So now and again it’s a good idea to clear out the cob webs that hold you back.  Shake up the dust that has settled and collected for so long.  It’s a bit uncomfortable to start, but after it’s all over, and the furniture has been moved around, things look a lot different.  Fresher.  Cleaner.  Clearer.  More Roomy.  The air is fresher.  It tastes sweeter.

Yup..  time for some Spring Cleaning 😉   

OOPS!  I lost my head 5

OOPS! I lost my head 5

A Name Without A Face


We were issued a challenge to create a faceless self portrait for the month of January, so I created this series of photos.

Once again, seemingly indulgent, and I apologize for that….   but the idea for this spawned a few months ago and this challenge just gave me the opportunity to put my idea to use.

There is a thing that happens on line…  we’ve all seen it or been victims of it…  Sexual harassment.

Now there are people who will scoff at that – but it is a very real thing.  I know that I sometimes hesitate to visit my  sites because I know it’s there.  Every day, it’s just there.  Waiting for me to open my messages.  Creepy people I don’t know offering me their phone numbers and saying things that either don’t make any sense or just make me feel annoyed.   I look at my “other” message tab in FB and it’s full of creepy messages of love and adoration and invitations.  I look in my G+ messages and there are seriously, tons of invites to private hangouts and people asking me for things I will not give them.   I get emails through my blog and through my web site.  It gets very tiring and very discouraging.

Now, not for a second do I think I’m special.  As a matter of fact I think this is all too normal for us women.  We have no other options but to delete, and ignore.  It’s sad to me that in this day and age, there are still so, so many who think this behaviour is ok.

Now, let me say, I have a friend who once asked me why is that different from my “regulars” who make off colour jokes and statements?  The difference is that I KNOW them.  And I seriously know they don’t mean anything by it.  We have known each other for long enough that I know where it comes from.  It comes from a witty mind and not a serious one.  I am not a prude.  I can take or give a joke with the best of them.  That’s not what I’m talking about here.

So, I began joking that I was going to change my profile photo to one with a bag over my head just to see if it would stop the unwanted comments.

Then this challenge came along…

So I started shooting with the bag over my head and I started to feel uncomfortable (other than the feeling that I was suffocating).  I started to feel like I was selling out.  By covering my face, I’m covering my identity.  It’s like I’m saying I have to hide who I am, that I’m ashamed and why should I have to do or feel  that way?  I suddenly started thinking of women who HAVE to cover their faces because they are considered evil temptresses who cause men to do bad things.

We shouldn’t have to hide ourselves just because there are people who can’t control themselves. There is nothing wrong with showing our face.  It’s who we are.  Our very gender can’t be something that we should feel we have to hide.


I showed a couple of these shots to my good friend Peter, asking him to help me choose which one to use, and he said something very interesting to me….  he said that it was difficult to tell the different emotions in the photos because you had to just go on body language alone and there was no facial expression to rely on.  I found that very interesting, because in every shot I took here, I felt sad, alone and suppressed.


Almost every photo I post online I get at least one or more of these unwanted remarks.  A simple landscape or a flower will get them.  A cell phone selfy with my face will get them.  Even posts without any photos at all will get them. I fully expected and prepared to get more than usual on this shot I posted, because of the amount of skin showing… but ironically….  I did not get even one crude comment from a stranger….

Coincidence or something else?

You tell me….



OOPS I Lost My Head! The need for quiet time….

There are times in life when things can get a little overwhelming…  we need to get away from it all, and from them all..  and we just need to find a few minutes of “me” time… all to ourselves. Undisturbed.  The rule in my house when my kids were little was that if Mommy was in the bathroom, I was not to be disturbed unless 1)  someone was bleeding 2)the house was on fire.

If you broke the rules, Mommy lost her head….  😉


OOPS! I Lost My Head III – Nosy Neighbours

There are certain advantages to losing your head..  especially when you are 5’3″……….




The third instalment in my “OOPS!  I lost my head” project……..

A Year Of Change

One Year Ago …

I installed an app on my phone and I decided it was time to get serious.

Get serious about my health.  About how I treat my body.  About how I will face the rest of my years.

You see, I was doing ok, really.  But I felt sluggish.  Sluggish and tired.  My cholesterol was starting to creep up.  Getting out of my chair was beginning to hurt.  Running up my stairs left me winded. I was out of shape (well, I WAS a shape… just not one I was happy with), getting older every year (yes, like the rest of the world) and knowing that it was only going to get harder with every passing year if I didn’t get my ass in gear.

I visited my doctor and arranged to have iron shots because I’ve been extremely low for years, and never able to catch up with it.  It was like an instant shot of life being transfused into me.  Without all that nasty digestive crap that I’d been putting myself through for years with so little results.  That was step one.

Step two was to finally get over myself and just decide to join a gym.  I hated gyms……..  I never really went to one before. The truth is I feared them.  I was afraid that if I went to one, I would be judged.  I’ve never, in my whole life been athletic.  Always the last kid picked for the team.  Always the write off in gym class that wasn’t worth the teacher’s time or effort.  Always the kid that wasn’t fast enough or strong enough or competitive enough.  I was the kid who was teased  or maybe even worse.. ignored.

So, off I went to the gym, with butterflies in my stomach and my heart in my throat.  Now, I already wrote a blog post about that first day and so I won’t rehash it.  (you can scroll back a few if you want to read it – it won’t be hard to find – I don’t’ blog that often…)  I was sure I was going to hate it.  That I’d last a month, maybe lose a lb or two and then decide it wasn’t for me.

Slowly I began to feel comfortable.  Then I actually began to like it.  I began to feel like I was part of a community.    I mean, most of these people I don’t talk to.  I don’t’ know their names, (I have affectionately given them names inside my head though) or their jobs or anything about them.  But there is a certain comfort in seeing those same faces every day.  Of acknowledging them across the room with a nod or a smile or even just  meeting eyes.  These people have no idea how much a part of my daily life they have become, but the truth is that I look forward to seeing them, even if we don’t speak.

Then there are the awesome staff and instructors at the Y.  What a great team! Through them I  have found so much encouragement and joy.  I can attribute SO much of my success this past year to them.  It is them, who kept me going back, kept things interesting, encouraged me to keep working, to work harder and stronger.  Who had faith that I could complete their crazy, amazing classes, even when I didn’t have that faith in myself. That showed me what I am capable of.  That I should believe.  They have given me the confidence back that I lost so long ago.

And then there is Terry.    He’s been with me every step of the way, making great gains himself.  We learned how to eat together.  How to work efficiently together. And how to support each other in our journeys.  Once again, I could not have done  all that I have without his support.

With the support of all these wonderful people I have reached goals that I have never even imagined, including becoming a certified fitness instructor and teaching fitness classes of my own. .  What an amazing thing..   to give back the things that were so freely given to me.

One thing I’d like to mention is that it’s hard to go to the gym for the first time.  People can feel afraid of being judged, and they think they need to get into shape first. I know I felt that way.  I felt SO conspicuous.  But the truth is..  everyone is there for the same reason.  We all started somewhere, and honestly, when I see a new person at the gym I am happy for them.  Happy for them for wanting to make a change and get healthier.  And excited for them, because I know if they stick with it, it is going to make them healthier and the personal achievements to be had are so amazing!

So, here are my one year totals…

I have lost approximately 55 lbs.  (it varies a few lbs from week to week, of course)

I have lost 10 pant sizes.  From a size 16/18 to a size 6

Neck   from 15 to 13.5 inches

Waist from 42 to 35 inches

Hips from 46 to 37.5 inches


And now my Pearls Of Wisdom….



  • My body was tired because I never gave it a chance to wake up
  • My mind was more tired than my body
  • Your body, if given a chance, WANTS to move.  It IS a machine and it needs the proper fuel and the chance to work.
  • It feels good to feel strong.
  • I miss my boobs. Kinda……..
  • Buying clothes is a lot easier now.
  • Buying panties and bras that fit properly is still a pain in the ass.
  • I have veins that I never noticed before.  I kind of like them.
  • No matter how much weight we lose, we will never look like what we imagine we will.  I always thought I’d be curvy. Turns out I’m straight up and down 😦
  • Stretch marks never go away, nor the skin that increased with them.
  • People will try to make you eat crap, 5 minutes after they praise all your hard work and success.
  • You will spend a lot of time defending your food choices.  (AKA = really, I don’t miss french fries.    Seriously!!)
  • Cholesterol?  Not an issue any more.
  • When you lose fat, your wrinkles become more noticeable.
  • It feels pretty good when you tell your son that you are going to a Manitoba Fitness Council convention and he just smiles at you and says “who would have ever thought?”
  • My body still gets tired..  but it’s a different kind of tired now.
  • You never get over craving chocolate or peanut butter.. or both at the same time
  • It takes great dedication and sacrifice to achieve so much in a short time… but it’s worth it
  • Spaghetti squash makes a great pasta substitute and it sounds really cool when you drop it on the floor at the grocery store
  • Buying a whole new wardrobe is damn expensive
  • People you know will not recognize you and walk right past you
  • It might not necessarily be WHAT you are eating – but HOW MUCH of it you eat
  • People will suddenly call you a “skinny bitch”.  that’s not fair.  I worked hard.  It wasn’t luck.
  • Losing weight and getting in shape will not make you a super star..  you already are one
  • People want to know the “magic secret”.  There isn’t one.  Eat better and move your ass more.
  • People expect you to “stop” once you reach your goal.  This is a lifetime thing.  It will never stop.  I shall forever be a work in progress.
  • I may not miss french fries..  but I sure do miss Cheezies…

The biggest thing I’ve learned is that no matter how much weight you lose, or how much your body changes, or how much healthier your yearly physical tests come back, you will always still find something about yourself to be unhappy about.  So don’t wait to love yourself. Don’t waste time.  I kick myself that it took me so damn long to do this.  Love yourself now.

Love yourself first, and then work on the rest.  We spend too much time hating on ourselves.  Wear your best perfume, drink out of your crystal glasses, dance like you don’t care if anyone is watching, and love yourself.


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