Archive for May, 2011

May 29, 2011

Breathe in, breathe out.

Hello all! I’m trying to get a quick post in before I’m off for the day. This week has been a busy one with my mom’s birthday and my little brother’s high school graduation. It was surreal to be at my brother’s graduation dinner – it sort of made me nostalgic for when we were kids. I also love that we’re both adults now, so hopefully we can be friends rather than siblings who fight all the time. 

Here’s a pic of the graduate and his obnoxious older sister ;)

Another really strange thing happened this week too actually. My parents were able to put differences aside and we had a family dinner for my brother’s graduation/my mom’s birthday, not one, but two days in a row. I’m pretty sure this is a sign of the apocalypse. It was great because I actually can’t remember the last time my parents spoke to each other and didn’t tear a strip out of one another and have it end in my dad walking away. My wedding didn’t even go as well as dinner this week did. Part of it made me sad though because it just re-emphasized the fact that my family is broken and nice family dinners are a rare occasion that are to be enjoyed in full. It was probably one of the best nights of my entire life, hands down. It just reinforced the fact that I want a solid family and will do whatever it takes to ensure that my marriage is solid as a rock for my future children.

On another note, I’ve been working away on my visual journal and it’s been a great lesson in creativity. It’s really forced me to push through the creative blocks and to make it a priority. Here’s a couple pages so far =)

Well, my lovely husband is waiting for me so we can go to the Lilac Festival! Have a great Sunday everyone! =)

Real gold fears no fire,

Torrie xoxo

May 23, 2011

today and i’m alive.

Image via BHLDN

It’s been 48 hours and I am still here on earth. Safe to say that the Rapture did not occur. I knew it wasn’t going to, but secretly I was excited to think that I was going to get to heaven with my family and friends and finally meet Jesus! But hey, we all know that will come eventually right? =)

In better news, I inadvertently had a 5 day weekend this week which was a super relaxing surprise! Partially. I was sick on Thursday and then didn’t go to work on Friday at the request of a parent so I wouldn’t get her kids sick. Which was fair enough! So I spent Friday holed up in the basement with movies and my art journal. I drew and cut my way through Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, Kick Ass, and Youth in Revolt. 3 movies that I enjoy the heck out of! The first 2 more so… Actually Scott Pilgrim is up in my top 10 movies.

The best part of my weekend was getting to see my best friend and sister-in-law. Coincidentally – they are the same person! Bazinga! S and her boyfriend C, came to our church with us on Sunday morning to take in the good word with us, and then had some lunch at our house. Just some good old hot dogs and chips to celebrate the summery weather =) Afterwards we decided we wanted to see Bridesmaids so we drove to Calgary to catch it. Unfortunately it was sold out when we got there! So we decided to hang out around the mall until the next showing. Which turned out to be a lot of fun! We shopped a bit and looked around mostly. This is going to sound silly, but I was so, so pleased and flattered when S told me she wanted me to be her matron-of-honour at her wedding someday! It’s a ways off, but I was just tickled pink because she was my maid of honour and I just love her to pieces! We both have a million wedding ideas already, so we’re storing them for when the day comes and we can plan a dream wedding for her!  After getting a light dinner we decided we should get our tickets for the movie; only to find out that it was SOLD OUT. We felt really dumb for not buying our tickets when we were trying to get ones to the sold out show. We made a group decision and went to Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. Which turned out to be really great! S, that just means we need to make a date to see Bridesmaids ASAP.

In a similar vein to the matron of honour convo, I confessed to the hubby on our way to the movie (we were in a seperate vehicle from S and C) that my “dream” is if S and C got married and then moved to our town, then we could have kids the same time and S and I could be stay-at-home mom’s together and our kids could be best friends! And if my brother in law D and his wife A would move to our town and all have kids together. It would be perfect to me! I told S this while we were browsing Williams & Sonoma and drooling over all the cupcake kits and she informed me that was her and C’s plan all along – to move to our town after they got hitched! Well. I just about died from happiness right then and there in the store with a cupcake liner in my hand!  I often feel quite isolated out here as we don’t know anyone in town yet. So the idea that my very own family wants to live here some day just makes me grin like a fool!

I am so, so blessed that I married into a family I absolutely love with every fibre of me. They are just great people through and through and I seriously couldn’t ask for a better family. And absolute added plus is that my sis in law is also pretty much my best friend. It’s awesome!

And on that happy note, I say good night to all and have a great Tuesday! I want to post a couple images of my art journal so far, so hopefully I can do that tomorrow.

Real gold fears no fire,

Torrie xoxo

May 19, 2011

Indie Fixx/Feed Your Soul

Good evening to all. It’s a bit late for this post but I really wanted to share some more inspiring internet finds with you all.

This is a really cool site I found as of late and I was so excited about I wanted to share it with everyone I possibly could. It’s called Indie Fixx, which is a lifestyle blog all about indie design, crafting, cooking, etc. It’s a great mishmash of inspiring artists, DIY projects and recipes, and the ability to buy artwork/clothing/jewellery/decor through their Galleria which is like an online mall. It’s a daily treasure trove of exiciting things to look at, to read about, to add to my list of projects. I’m an instant fan and wanted to share! They also have Flickr groups, a book club, a quarterly online magazine called Joie. I just cannot say enough good things about this site!!

Another exciting project they run is called Feed Your Soul: the free art project. 

Basically what this is, is a place to download free art that you can print off a frame to decorate your abode. The art work that is up is totally awesome. I’ve already taken advantage and printed off a few of the pieces with future plans to put them up around the house. I encourage you to take a look and get some free terrific artwork for your home! 

Real gold fears no fire,

Torrie xoxo

May 18, 2011


My palette as of late!

I’m currently sitting here after a lovely evening of drawing and painting, watching some reality tv about prison and drinking a tea. Overall, pretty good place to be for a wednesday night.

I undertook the project of a visual/art journal this week and I am beyond excited about it! I finally have the art itch back and it’s consuming my waking days.  I find myself rushing through dinner and other obligations to hide myself in the far corner of the basement in my newly declared impromptu “studio.”  

Isn’t there a part of everyone who wishes they could do what they love for a living? I know part of me always pines for a life where I can paint, write, and cook all day yet somehow make a living off of it all.  I recognize that these are ambitious ideas and that few people are able to catapult into the arena of success via artistic endeavors. But one is allowed to dream, right?  I mean before I get ambitious and lofty I would have to become great or even genius at my practice. And for my own reality check, I am neither at my work yet. I’ll continue to persevere even if only to inspire myself and close friends/family (if they even like my work). Besides, I told you all and myself that my intent for my art is for me and me alone. Focus on that; the rest will come in time.

In other life news, I started reading Little Women this week. I’m thoroughly enjoying the classic and will now bid adieu to curl up in bed next to my hubby with it. Escapism is my favourite past time I think ;) Whether it be books or art!

Real gold fears no fire,

Torrie xoxo

May 16, 2011

My home, my canvas.

Sparrows in Vintage Yellow

I’m anxiously waiting to make my new duvet cover from an excellent fabric by Joel Dewberry for Free Spirit. I ordered it a week or two ago and I just want to make it into a beautiful bedspread already! Here’s a clip of it via Hawthorne Threads, who I ordered it from. If you’re looking for designer fabrics at a reasonable price, they are great! And seeing as the Canadian dollar is pretty good right now, the exchange rate is still good. I’m just waiting for our finances to free up a bit so I can get some gray fabric for the reverse. I’m planning on making a double-sided duvet, one side in gray, the other in the patterned fabric in a striped pattern. (The fabric is only 45″ wide, so I have to do some sort of pattern) I also got enough fabric to make matching pillow cases to go with. 

I’m on a new kick for decorating our house. We’ve been living here for over a year and a half and some areas still look like we just moved in. It’s a bit depressing actually. We painted our entranceway/kitchen this nice deep royal blue shade about a year ago. We love it but haven’t done anything else to the rest of the house. I’ve been crawling the internet looking for DIY ideas and I’ve totally been inspired to make my own home decor rather than look for it in a store. I love the challenge and the ability to custom make something that is just for us!

My other home project is this can decor idea I found through Ready Made.

I’m thinking I’ll be making ours blue inside and cream on the outside. That’s not set in stone but it goes with the colour theme in the house.

Aside from home decorating ideas, I’m also embarking on an art journal as well. I picked up a journal for it and a book to get some ideas from to start with. Hopefully it becomes a book of expression and freedom for me!

Now, I need to get back to my top secret project which I will not be able to reveal for about a month! =)

Real gold fears no fire,

Torrie xox

May 15, 2011

A new day – Part 2

Image via Poppytalk

So now that I have some time to actually organize and put my thoughts in a coherent form, I’m excited to share my second journey with whomever reads this little blog!

I’ve always been interested in art and it has been near and dear to my heart since I was a kid. I didn’t receive any “formal” training until late high school at the recommendation of a very encouraging art teacher (Mr. Crooks – you’re the reason I’m still doing art!). I even had intentions of attending a fairly prestigious art school on the west coast, and was accepted for studies there but for a list of reasons didn’t attend the school. I regret it to an extent, but also look at my freedom I have with my art now and am thankful that it’s never become a burden or a task to me. 

That all being said my second journey isn’t nearly that exciting to most, but to me it’s absolutely thrilling! I’ve made a conscious decision to re-direct my free time back into my art work and into crafty-artsy type projects. This is where I find alot of my quiet time and feel at peace with my life. My artwork took a backseat to my life shortly after a 6 month push to get a 15 piece portfolio done for my school application. I was art-exhausted. I’d spent 20-30 hours a week working away on the perfect pieces that defined me as an artist to a board of discerning artists and teachers. I needed a break. Then I met my would-be future husband. Those who have had those relationships know how quickly it’s easy to ignore everything else in your life for the new found apple of your eye. Sadly, 3 years later, I’m just getting my art back into my line of focus. I’ve done a couple of paintings here and there, but it’s taken a real effort to get back into it. 

Part of it is due to my new medication and efforts to overcome my depression. Actually, the majority of it comes from this change. Being depressed made the idea of putting a pencil to paper a lot of work and defeat that I couldn’t handle. I knew I wasn’t at the same skill level I was prior and I didn’t want to see failure on paper. At least to me it would have been failure. The last couple months have changed this outlook and I’m realizing that I’m not painting and drawing and crafting for anyone else’s praise but my own.  I mean I feel self conscious about the fact that some of my paintings are hanging in my own house. My lovely husband encouraged me to put them up but I feel embarrassed by it. I’m not an overly proud person and the last thing I ever want to appear is pretentious or arrogant. So I’ve made the amends with myself that my art is for me and no one else. If someone else sees it, well okay that’s alright but I’m not about to boast if for the world. 

So who cares if it sucks? Who cares if I try a project and it comes out miserably? No one will know but me! And I’ll learn from the mistakes and frustration and errors, and move on to make something better.  Those that knew me in high school knew that my ideas were always a bit off the beaten path (the rain boot series anyone? 3 rain boots later…) so I need to learn to accept that my ideas may fail at first. That it may take a few trials to finally figure out works. 

I’m happy and content with my art life. It’s part of who I am and I’m starting to realize that it defines part of who I am. I am a visual person who wants to see visually appealing things. Hence why having a decorated home is important to me and to make my clothing choices to be unique. I like visual interest. Hopefully I’ll be making some more visual interest in the future!

Now off to paint some cans…. (my mind is planning as I type this!)

Real gold fears no fire,

Torrie xoxo

May 10, 2011

Dear Mental Illness

This is just a quick on the go post, but I found a website last night that I just had to share with the world.

It’s Dear Mental Illness and it spoke to my heart so much. It’s a place for people dealing with mental illness, either personally or through a friend/family member, to vent all their feelings in a letter to their mental illness. It was heartbreaking and empowering to read about others dealing with mental illness and how they are working through it.

I even wrote a letter to my depression. And the honest truth is that it was so satisfying to write. Something about personifying my depression as an evil villain and then having the freedom to tell him just exactly how i felt about his role in my life, was astoundingly comforting and empowering.

As I told my depression last night, I am going to royally kick it’s ass. :)

Real gold fears no fire,

Torrie xoxo

May 9, 2011

A new day is upon us!

I can’t believe it’s been a whole month since I posted. Mental note: Make this a better priority. Truth is I’ve wanted to post many times but just haven’t found the right words to put down. Even now, I’m not really sure why I’m on here writing. Hopefully something profound will come out of my thoughts.

I’m embarking on two very important journeys as of late and I’m excited to share both of them with whoever is reading my thoughts. 

The first journey is one for my health, both physical and mental. The hubs and I have jumped into a clean eating diet, and we are loving every bit of it. We dabbled in clean eating a bit about a year ago, but never really committed to it out of laziness and gluttony. Hard to admit but the reason we gave up on it was because we weren’t ready to give up some of our favourite daily indulgences! We’ve been on it for about 3 weeks now and it has made a world of difference for me.

For those that aren’t familar with clean eating, the principles are pretty straight forward. Clean eating is avoiding processed and refined foods, eating five to six times a day (I’m currently on my second meal of the day: fat free Greek yogurt with honeydew, walnuts and cinnamon!) and  reduced portion sizes. The first bit is the whole foundation for this diet. When I say diet I’m not referring to a short term meal change to gain results in my body shape or weight, I mean a diet as in my overall food intake. We’re making it a lifestyle change and we intend to stick with it forever and eventually raise a family on the same principles. This probably sounds daunting to some people but we find it to be really simple. We eat way more vegetables, appropriate protein portions, no refined sugars, flours or pastas, and dabble a bit into natural and organic products. I’m no advocate of organic products, but we inadvertently get them when we need some natural products that only seem to come in organic as well.  I even get to eat sweets occasionally, such as a Lemony Cream Tart from Clean Eating Magazine that I made this week. It’s basically a diet cheesecake – also known as heaven.

In combination with the clean eating, we’ve also taken on the challenge of losing 20 pounds each and running our first 5k and 10k runs this summer. I will be doing the 5k as I’m not much of a runner really, whereas the hubs definitely likes running more. So far our total weight loss is about 10 lbs between the two of us (about 5 lb each). 

Aside from the obvious health benefits of good diet and exercise, the mental health results have also been life changing for me. I can hardly describe the difference this has made for me on a day to day basis. Excluding all the preservatives, additives, artificial colours, refined sugars, etc from my diet has proven to provide me with better mental clarity, stability, focus, everything. No more sugar crashes, no more feeling like crap from eating fast food. It just feels great!

It seems like I’m jumping on the bandwagon with this new eating lifestyle, but I am just in love with it from every aspect.  I know that there’ll be days or times when we can’t adhere, like if we’re at a friend’s house for dinner or out at a restaurant, but everyone needs a little indulgence once in a while. Like I say, the idea of never eating chocolate again for the rest of my life has to be the most depressing thought. I will still eat chocolate. Just not as often perhaps ;)

As for my other journey, that will be for another post! =)

Real gold fears no fire,

Torrie xoxo