Caress the detail, the divine detail. Language play.

I don’t consider myself a writer by any means.  I am a visual artist inspired by the written word.  I love gathering sources, collecting, researching, gathering.  I love reading and feeling the creative process of the writer.  I enjoy contemplating interpretation- how small changes in presentation and how collaging and mish-mashing can alter meaning and…

The heart of communication is to observe, wait and listen…

A major part of my role in any workshop that I facilitate is CREATIVE ENGAGEMENT.  I am currently sitting at gate B25 at the airport in Toronto prepping to head home after an incredible experience co-delivering workshops that address challenges and provide staff team training in a particular residential living community.  — — To engage…

The objects are the context from which I draw clues.

What happens when a case is very old, when much of its physical evidence is deteriorated or destroyed, and its main players long deceased?  How do we investigate? For me it is all about the historical context. When I work on Molly, I step into the 1940’s through books, research, primary sources.  And I do it…

The Social Weaver and collaborative practice

During a prep session today for an upcoming World Café on collaborative practice, the three of us wanted to identify an animal that represents the theme of collaborative living.  The plan is that I will then add drawings of this animal to the large mind map I will be creating during the World Café session…

In place of death there was light.

I am preparing myself to draw my mother’s “death mask” from the photo my son took after she passed on November 8, 2008. I have been preparing for awhile. I know the process will be an important and necessary one for me personally.  I think about it often.  It’s not about needing to work on something…

The permanent analogy of things by images which participate in the life of truth.

  “I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart. I am, I am, I am.” ― Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar What am I trying to convey in my work?  Is it of value?  Does it matter? I remind myself that it doesn’t, that it CANNOT MATTER how I “fit…

Special sale: Dead Bird Collection- embroidered drawings

I am a BIG BIG fan of symbology, imagery and metaphor.  I feed on it like some kind of voracious vampire.   As I was collecting a few books from my personal library to donate to our local community mini library, I pulled out an old book I had forgotten about.   Oh, how I love…

The importance of the vintage photograph as creative resource.

  There is no end to the inspiration I get from looking at vintage photographs- through immersion comes awakened imagination. The central characters in my graphic novel are real people but as I am doing an artistic interpretation of real events, I revel in the freedom to flesh out the central characters using old photos as a…

Death is not the end of the story, but just the beginning.

I am deep into the creative process this morning.  This current drawing is being prepped for embroidery re Molly, a True Crime Analysis as I simultaneously review forensic techniques and review my manuscript.  Multi-tasking. Symbols within the drawing reflect: Genetic discovery, the drosophila, Y-STR haplotypes, the Spiral of Inquiry, the web of intrigue, physical evidence, the…

The psychopomp and the crow- made from @Socksmith socks! 

I received these beautiful skeleton socks from Socksmith in the mail on Monday!  Oh I love them! Socksmith has been a long time favorite sock company for me ever since my first visit to Sockshop on Haight back in October 2010!  Here is the blog post about that visit: LINK I remained a long time fan:…

The boarding pass lies within the double helix…

I had a bit of a silly dream last night. I write, silly because, unlike the dream, I usually get to the airport three hours ahead of time for a domestic flight.  I am already fretting about the upcoming 6:30 AM flight on June 19 when I head back to Toronto for more creative community…

Messages from Angels…

I love getting messages from Angels. I just sat down for a spot of tea… and pulled out some creativity books to prep for a session around mission and vision statements. I discovered a tiny envelope inside one of the books containing a gift from one of my mom’s best friend, Jopie. I don’t recall…

The timeless/spaceless mid zone of creative process and chatting with the dead…

There is a beautiful part of my creative process that I cherish- the part that allows me to dialogue with my parents as if they are here in my kitchen, sharing coffee and offering advice and dialoguing on the cold case.  I had some magical moments the other day as I pulled out old binders…

Embroidered drawings and forensic taphonomy

My passion project, Molly- a true crime analysis, centres around a 63 year old Vancouver cold case. On January 15, 1953, the skeletal remains of two children were found in the forest of Stanley Park in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.  The victims became known as the Babes in the Wood.  The physical evidence indicated that the children were killed…

Dear my body… a love letter.

  Dear my body, We shy away from the camera; we always have. We are like the Sasquatch– rare sightings on FB. I am not interested in what you look like.  I don’t want to see.  I don’t need to see. I prefer the role of the observer, not the observed. I love REALITY and…

Creative engagement to energize and foster growth

— Why do I  love utilizing creative engagement so much?  Well, let’s be honest, I don’t think I really know any other way to engage participants!  But seriously, what I truly love about it is that it creates an “active workspace dedicated to real-time creative activity to energize observers and encourage a different take on…

I asked them to draw themselves as a superhero…

I was doing graphic recording and co-facilitating a workshop for frontline staff at a residential living facility in Toronto last week. The focus of the workshop was Interdependence of Community Engagement in Residential Living, with key facilitator Beverley Pomeroy. We mind mapped so much with this group that we had to double/triple layer the large wall mind map!…

Mamma.

  Karin Thorsen September 17, 1936 – November 8, 2008 Because you are only a seed, chestnut tree, autumn, earth, water, heights, silence prepared the germ, the floury density, the maternal eyelids that buried will again open toward the heights the simple majesty of foliage, the dark damp plan of new roots, the ancient but…

… it goes deep, deep down into its burrow…

I was organizing my notebooks and loose papers and to-do lists at a coffee shop this morning.  I love to organize, but I am strangely disorganized.  Creative chaos is my middle name, but so are organizational skills. My mind runs a 1000 miles per hour, and so I write bits of quotes, make lists, tiny…

MOLLY TERESA O’DWYER APRIL 25, 1924

Molly Teresa O’Dwyer (April 25, 1924 Costel, Ireland- November 6, 1947; suicide, age 23 in Vancouver, BC, Canada (Mountainview Cemetery, Vancouver) — My passion project, Molly- a true crime analysis, continues.  Stay tuned. On January 15, 1953, the skeletal remains of two children were found in the forest of Stanley Park in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada….

When Doors Close: A Retreat to Unlock New Possibilities May 20-22

7 brilliant, heart-full and talented colleagues are collaborating to create When Doors Close – a retreat to unlock new possibilities. I’ve been witnessing heartaching frustration in friends, loved ones, even strangers, and hearing the refrain “all the doors seem to be closing” – over and over. I know these words well. I’ve said these words, and…

Stay tuned.

I have been quiet on the blog.  But I am here!  So many new wonderful unfolding happening. So why so quiet!?  Me, who usually shares everything!  Well, I reached the limit for storage space (visual blogs do that)- DOH!  I know I could have formatted my images smaller.  But I love the flow of the blogging…

“I am not young enough to know everything.”

54 today.  At times through crawling, at times through running, stumbling, skipping, dancing, rolling, falling, shaking, tripping, jumping, sliding, swinging, flying but mainly through one step at a time- I am still here. It is a beautiful day indeed. “I am not young enough to know everything.” – Oscar Wilde  

Portrait custom orders available on ETSY: poststreet

Handdrawn custom orders in my signature style at a special price 18″ x 24″ China Marker on Newsprint HUMAN: PETS: SUGAR SKULL PORTRAITS:

In harmony with the currents of life… #jellyfish

I was contemplating the word acceptance this evening and decided to look up symbolism. I came across a charming reference to the jellyfish: Jellyfish’s medicine includes – sensitivity to water energy (emotions), understanding of the value of floating rather than swimming through trying emotional times, proper use of softness (not being rigid), ability to become untangled from…

Group mind mapping: RJ as a pedagogical tool @SFU

  — On March 30, 2016, I took the  Criminology 315 (CRIM 315) students at the Simon Fraser University Burnaby Campus (teacher: Associate Professor and director of the Center for Restorative Justice, Brenda Morrison) through an in depths mind mapping process as they reflected on their understanding and learning during the course. CRIM 315 is…

Stanley Park. Birds. Angel whispers. And Pledge Drive.

I walked around Beaver Lake today.  I was infused by the profound beauty of nature.  Warm sun.  Blossoms.  Skunk cabbage.  Herons were dancing in the wind above the lake, ducks were courting and playing, chipmunks and squirrels scurrying.  Chestnut-backed chickadees and red-breasted nuthatches landed on my hands.  I describe the feeling as angel whispers. I took…

I have put my beloved pie safe on craigslist!

  — Pie Safe: a cupboard with doors originally designed to store pies after baking. Instantly add additional storage space to your kitchen with this absolutely charming, authentically aged pie safe. It is rustic and naturally aged, with all original paint and details and of course- some wear and tear. It has not been fixed up,…

DRAWN TOGETHER. Survey re: my private art sessions!

You are invited to take a survey so I can get a sense of your needs and preferences regarding private sessions! Click on the following link: SURVEY   Stay tuned for DRAWN TOGETHER art lessons!  

The Sparrow’s Feet.

I was gifted some delicate Sparrow feet from my friend, Hannah. — They immediately inspired a portrait of my main character, Molly: “How does one respond to a nurturant monster? What archetype do we possess for that?” – Patricia Pearson — Why the obsession?  Why bird feet?  Why dead birds?  Why the sparrow?  Why does…

Getting out of my own way.

I was down and dark in January- been down and dark before- but this time I was dipping down a little too low.  I am blessed that I was able to communicate that to my nearest and dearest and have the difficult conversations and be met with love and support. I want to be here.  To…

Inspiring program: Work2Give via @PunkyLake

It was such a delight to meet the extraordinary Sarah Jackman of Punky Lake Wilderness Camp Society http://punkylake.com/ on March 15, 2016 as we presented together our experiences in restorative practices in CRIM 442 at SFU. My name is Sarah Jackman and I am the Executive Director of the Punky Lake Wilderness Camp Society. I was…

Visual facilitation is #visualstorytelling w. felts and paper

Many of you know, I love mind mapping. If you say, can I talk to you? …you know that I will first pull out felt pens and paper before saying- talk to me. I usually work either one-on-one or with small groups, in order to facilitate deeper dialogue and connection, as well as help with personal and…

The sock monkey and the paper dress.

 I love making paper dresses! — — Check out: I’m obsessed with my paper dress The bypoststreet paper dress  The bypoststreet punk paper dress My dress hangs there I finally made one for a sock monkey. Surprised that it took me so long! Not sure why it is so satisfying, but it is! —  —…

Mom’s laugh- visual sound.

I originally posted this six years ago.  I just came across it again and my heart aches.  This year (on November 8) it will be 8 years since my mom passed away.  It can’t be possible.  I feel her with me always.  And I love that I feel safe to process our loving, deep, difficult…

The heart of it.

Practicing being heart-fully present and health-fully detached.  And checking in regularly with my own heart journey. Getting up a bit earlier.  Gentle time before facing each day.  Then practicing stepping into the day with OPEN boundless bountiful boundary-full HEART. And always reminding myself to nurture the heart of my passions and gifts. “I’m filled with burning passion to experience life…

Can we look at sad rants in our journals in a new way?

No doubt my collection of 300 + journals, sketchbooks and image-idea files are filled with more sad rants than with positive day-to-day activities. For many of us, our journals are a safe harbour in which to deposit racing thoughts- a place of privacy in which to address the darkness that we all struggle with from…

Sock Monkey Social- intergenerational craftivism!

Operation Sock Monkey (OSM) was approached by Langara Recreation Leadership student, Matthew Sung, a few months ago regarding an intergenerational project: Sock Monkey Social. We gave him some pointers and links to a couple videos (how to make a sock monkey and a feature on OSM’s founder, Lindsey Hodgson): How To Make A Sock Monkey (HD) from Fredrik Thorsen…

What makes me feel rich is…

A bowl of eggs in the fridge A bowl of fruit on the table A jar of random trinkets: Small details Watching approximately 40 herons playing in the wind outside my window.   Herons represent an ability to progress and evolve. The long thin legs of the heron reflect that an individual doesn’t need great…

Creative mind mapping example: developing characters

A Mind Map is a powerful graphic technique which provides a universal key to unlock the potential of the brain. It harnesses the full range of cortical skills – word, image, number, logic, rhythm, colour and spatial awareness – in a single, uniquely powerful manner. In so doing, it gives you the freedom to roam…

CREATIVE MIND MAPPING

Mind maps integrate both right-brain and left-brain thinking by capturing your stream of consciousness in a structured way. – Jennifer Lee CREATIVE MIND MAPPING  Mind maps are essentially visual diagrams.  They can act as a type of journal or personal exploration, or a tool for strategic inquiry or project planning.  The possibilities are vast and endless….

I’m raising funds to provide free sock monkey therapy!

I am selling sock monkeys and sock birds on my ETSY site to raise for sock monkey therapy! See selection at: 100% of proceeds go towards me providing free sock monkey therapy workshops for local at risk youth in Vancouver BC Canada! Sock monkey therapy creates a safe space for youth to dialogue while delivering…

The healing power of journaling and “making sense.”

To me, the journal is an essential vomitorium, a depository, a giant worry doll that contains it, holds it- allows for LETTING GO.  It allows me to make sense.  I find that journaling is different from keeping a diary. The difference between diary keeping and journaling (to me): A diary is a record of events, happenings,…

Daisy’s dilemma. 1947 and dark Disney imagery.

My current book project, Molly, is a creative non-fiction tragedy that centres around a suicide in 1947. Suicides were well publicized back then, often featured on the front pages of newspapers. Searching online images “suicide, 1947,” the image that inevitably comes up is the photo titled “the most beautiful suicide“- a haunting and iconic image. But as…

Sock Rottweiller plans!

Quite a few years ago, I designed my first sock pug.  Since then I have made many, and they continue to be very popular! My pugs are available made to order on my ETSY site for $40.00 USD. Due to multiple requests, I am now tackling a Sock Rottweiller! According to my plans, they will be a…

I would encourage you to meditate upon the squirrel…

I’ve been obsessing about squirrels of late, knowing that my encounters with them hold a deep meaning- one I haven’t really understood yet. In time. Meanwhile, I am head-over-heels in love with @this_girl_is_a_squirrel . I can’t stop looking at her IG feed. MUST DRAW. So I did. I would encourage you to meditate upon the…

The 5 W’s. #Molly #GraphicNovel #Process

Working on Molly. Keep at it. Revise manuscript. Organize the collected research. Walk around the lagoon.  Think think think.  Massage the timeline. Spend hours in the coffee shop.  Keep massaging that timeline. Rewrite introduction. Add it to the private presentation site. Work on treatment and elevator pitch. Review the theme of the month: committed choice. Spend hours,…

Custom Hand-Drawn Pet Portraits.

If having a soul means being able to feel love and loyalty and gratitude, then animals are better off than a lot of humans. James Herriot To honour pets and to celebrate the joy we receive from them, I am offering 18″ x24″ pet portraits for only $57.00 CAD ($40 USD) Chinamarker and acrylic highlights…

Ponderings on the “idea.”

As a creative, I find it as important to make time for input as well as make time for creative output. And allow myself some stupor time- doing nothing— doesn’t happen often.  Tried today.  To just stop for a bit, but instead I was distracted by my thoughts- thoughts that have been swirling in my head…

My personal #Chakra #SelfCare #CheckIn #Toolkit

I can’t help but love the magical thinking that happens when considering the chakras! The 7 Chakras are the energy centers in our body in which energy flows through. Blocked energy in our 7 Chakras can often lead to illness so it’s important to understand what each Chakra represents and what we can do to…

Sisterhood collages with youth who have a passion to lead

  I was delighted to facilitate a collaging workshop with a group of young women last night who have been participating in Passion to Lead’s Leadership Program since November.  We focused on the theme of sisterhood.  The resulting collection of collages are simply beautiful and will be grouped together into one piece.  It was a…

Opened TextEdit to find a surprise note to self…

  Prepping for a session tonight with young women, around the theme of sisterhood using collage techniques, I opened TextEdit to collect pertinent quotes that may inspire dialogue tonight. An untitled document opened with a note I wrote to myself from my future self last year. Dear me, You now stand fully naked, fully present,…

Using Braid Theory to explain triple timeline. #Molly #graphicnovel

It has taken me years to create a structure for Molly that could combine two stories that run both parallel to each other and have intriguing connections. Massive research needs to be formatted in a cohesive way, yet allow for a compelling narrative. Currently, three timelines run through Molly  and eventually braid together converging in…

Sunday morning coffee shop musings.

Journal entry January 24, 2016 Write out goals –> no, write out PLANS. What is the difference between goals and plans and by writing goals as opposed to plans, am I not being BADASS enough? (Thank you, Cat Webb, for defining me as a badass and being a constant source of empowerment.  Check out Cat’s extraordinary…

Now her ghost wheels her barrow…

In Dublin’s fair city, where the girls are so pretty I first laid my eyes on sweet Molly Malone As she wheeled her wheelbarrow through the streets broad and narrow Crying cockles and mussels alive a-live O! A-live a-live O! A-live a-live O! Crying cockles and mussels alive a-live O! She was a fishmonger and…

Ok, Molly, I’ll eat a shit sandwich for you.

I had a very anxious week last week.  It was a crawl to the finish line.  It was a mix of grief, self-doubt, money stuff, fearing I don’t have what it takes to succeed in this life, blah blah blah.  It’s familiar, having suffered from anxiety all my life.  But last week was particularly hard….

Soul work… my 2016 Toolkit

You may recall, I set my intention for 2016- to simply meet it all with love.  Yet I knew it was important to take the time to do soul work.  But it’s been hard, so very hard to get “started” on it. Yet- that’s not really correct…  Actually, I have started. I have been collecting soul…

I felt a Funeral, in my Brain… Birds, metaphors, graphic novel, experiments

— Central to my graphic novel is the intensity of anxiety and severe depression while drowning in circumstance, highlighted through the metaphor of birds. — — Here are some experiments from the past weekend:      I felt a Funeral, in my Brain,  And Mourners to and fro… – Emily Dickinson

2015 reflections and 2016 intentions.

It’s that time of year to reflect and lay out intentions. What a journey 2015 was.  It was the year… [DELETE.] I had written several lengthy paragraphs reflecting on 2015 and laying out a detailed list of intentions for 2016.  I almost posted it last week.  Then again yesterday. But this morning I delete it….

72-hour pledge drive to revive the 119 East Cordova Street Art Wall!

I need to raise some funds quickly and what better way than to dive right into my 2016 commitment to reviving the joy of street art in my personal community of students, colleagues and friends! Announcing: My 72-hour pledge drive to revive the 119 East Cordova Street Art Wall! 2 PM December 30, 2015- 2…