Do you like to read as much as I do? I usually read about 12 books a year, this year seemed to open the opportunity to read more leading me to finish off the year with 29 books read! I give a 1-5 star rating to each book I read and record them in my yearly journal. Books often come up in conversation and I thought I’d share my top 5 books of 2020. Here it goes, in no particular order.
When No One Is Watching, by Alyssa Cole
A big reason why I liked this book is because it packed a lot into one story. It included a bit of black history, a glimpse into the realities black individuals live, suspense, community, love, and it was a page turner.
Three Hours In Paris, by Cara Black
I like a good book with a female lead character. The lead character Kate surprises many with her strength, courage, and skill as a women doing a job typically done by men. This book is filled with suspense.
American Dirt, by Jeanine Cummings
American Dirt has had a lot of controversy and this has caused me to think more about the book after reading it. When I read this book it had a really physical and emotional effect on me, this is why I liked it so much and have added it to my top 5 books.
The Giver Of Stars, by Jojo Moyes
The Giver Of Stars is different than other books by Moyes. It is difficult for me to put into words why l liked this book so much. If you want a good book that causes you to think about the inner courage and strength of women, give this book a try.
Indian Horse, by Richard Wagamese
This is a book I believe every Canadian should read with an open heart. It is filled with history and helps to increase understanding of the realities and struggles indigenous people in our country have been faced with generation after generation. This book really caused me to think.
Bonus Book: Beach Read, by Emily Henry
I like to switch up my reading with a light read now and then. This book was fun and kept me wanting to read more.
I usually like to get my books from the library...I am grateful for our local library. Sometimes the wait for a good book is months and I think I will really enjoy the book I will purchase a copy. I buy most of my books locally at Block Shop Books in Lunenburg, they are great at ordering books in for me too. I also like to browse Lunenburg Bound for a good used book, they have a great selection of previously loved books.
I know I am a little bit behind the times...I FINALLY have my shop up and ready online. You can find it on my website www.paperlilidesigns.ca or click HERE. I don't know why it took me over a year to get things up and running on my website but it did. I am very excited to be able to have my cards, workshop info, and other fun stuff accessible to you on my website. If there is something specific you are looking for and can't find elsewhere be sure to send me a message.
This flower is part of a bouquet from Tulipwood in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. The bouquet sat on our dinner table and I looked at it everyday. Each flower was beautiful and I wanted to paint them all! When I painted this one I was thrilled with the end result. When looking for inspiration in the things around us we often look at photographs, landscapes, items that mean something to us, or from something that we read or heard. We often look beyond the things that are part of our everyday lives. What if you paid attention to what you see everyday and if you looked at smaller parts of the ‘thing’ you found inspiration in. Does it look different to you? Does it bring forward a new idea? Inspiration can be found all around us, even in places that may seem too familiar to be inspired. Keep you eyes and heart open. Look at things from a different perspective. Look at each individual piece of something rather than taking in the whole, as I did with this bouquet of flowers...I found inspiration in each individual flower rather then all of the flowers together.
This time of year seems to be filled with birthdays. My cousins, godmother, friends, partner, goddaughter, and nephew. It seems to be never ending. I am not kidding...in the span of 1 month there are over 10 birthdays for family members and close friends (and also my own). Good Thing I like to make cards! Making a card doesn't have to be complicated or time consuming. You don't have to have fancy supplies either. Some of my favorite cards are ones my partner made for me with white paper, coloured pencils, and a pencil. He would not describe himself as creative. What I like most about these cards is that he took the time to make them and he thought about what he said in them. They always make me smile.
If you are in the middle of a busy birthday time of year like me I want to offer a quick and easy birthday card - 2 ways. It can defiantly be done with things you have at home. Take a piece of white paper and fold it in half, cut it to the size card you would like. Get out your crayons, paint, coloured pencils, whatever you have on hand and draw a balloon in a colour the birthday person will like. Everyone can draw a balloon right...this is a perfect card for kids to do for their friends too. You can either stop here or take it to the next level. Rip or cut a small part off of the card straight across the bottom front. After you do that, pick a colour that will look good with the balloon, put the colour across the bottom of the inside of the card so when it is closed the colour shows below the portion you ripped or cut off. Done.
I hope you give it a try and have fun with it!
Do you prefer to receive snail mail or an email?
For me, hands down I prefer receiving a letter in the mail. It is so exciting when I open the mail box and see an envelope with a handwritten address on it...is there anything better than email that you didn't pay for and isn't asking you for money! The second I see the handwritten words I wonder who took the time to send a personal note in the mail. When someone takes the time to write words in the card I defiantly put it on a shelf where I will see it everyday. If a card is really meaningful I will glue it into my bullet journal that I keep as a scrapbook to look at again and again over the years. (I don't have any emails glued in my bullet journal.) I am overflowing with gratitude if the person also made the card they sent, even if it is made on a piece of white paper. Absolute kindness.
I am Super Excited about this...
It has been a difficult few months for all of us and I am especially worried about our youth and the impact social distancing and other safety measures are having on them. When I started to think about why I create cards and do workshops with others it became clear to me, one of the biggest reasons I do this is because it is a great self care tool in my own life and in the lives of others. This started me thinking about developing an Art Journaling Workshop for teen girls. This workshop will be very different when I'm able to safely run it in person. Until then, we are going to make it a great time online! As long as everyone is enjoying the process of being creative it will be a success! Workshop details below.
A Teen Art Journaling Workshop! Starts June 11th for 6-weeks, Thursday evenings 6:30pm-7:30pm, online via Zoom. A few materials will be provided along wtih a supply list of materials you'd have in your home (if you don't already have the materials I will get you what you need). Participants will make their own journals and will have fun exploring different ways to exercise their creative spirit! COVID Speical - $70/person dure to changes in regular workshop as a result of COVID. (regular price $100/person, all materials included). If you have someone you'd like to register or if you have questions send me an email email@example.com
I spent some time tonight getting creative with my 7 year old. Some of my happiest moments are when we are creating together. We made paper beads, an activity from the book Paper Play by Lydia Crook. We have no idea what we will do with the finished string of beads and that doesn't matter, it was the process that was most important, not the end result.
I often hear from people, 'I love to paint/knit/draw/stamp/etc but I don't have time'. Why don't we make time for the creative activities that bring us joy and improve our mental health. Is it truly because we don't have time - I don't think so - we have the time we just don't make the time. Is it because we don't know where to start, we are anxious about it not looking nice when it is finished, or is there another reason holding us back? The answer is different for everyone. The activity we did tonight took us 30 minutes and it did not turn out to be the most beautiful beads you have ever seen. However, we both had fun making them together. Being creative isn't about the end result, it is about the process. I challenge you to create something tomorrow just because you can. Post it on IG and tag me, I'm excited to see what you create!
Fun Fact: I am thinking about hosting a 6-8 week workshop where we will get busy being creative with a great group of people if you are interested let me know and watch for details.
A big shout out to first responders, medical persons, grocery story staff, elderly support, necessary services staff...if you are out there so the rest of us can stay safe at home...
To everyone else - STAY HOME!
Do you celebrate Valentine's Day? I have heard all kinds of interesting traditions people have for celebrating this holiday whether they are in a relationship or not.
For me, I make a special card for my partner and a special card for my son. In each I write a thoughtful message reminding each of them why I am grateful to have them in my life. I also make a fun dinner for the three of us - it often includes chocolate covered strawberries. How every you do or don't celebrate this holiday I hope you have a wonderful day!
For years I have not made New Year's resolutions because I would never follow through...probably because my resolution was always about taking something away. In December I read and awesome idea in a magazine that got me thinking...
This year I decided to do make a resolution where each month I will walk with a women in my life who brings me joy and lifts me up! The hardest part - narrowing it down to 12 women because I am lucky to know a lot of amazing women!!!
In January I asked Tara, owner of Groundwork, to join me. It took awhile to find a date that worked and when we did we stuck to it! On walk day, during my drive to Crescent Beach in the dark, it started to pour rain and all I could do was laugh - I was determined not to let it dampen my spirits. I was ready to walk with or without the rain. By the time we were ready to get started the rain stopped and we had a beautiful walk. We had so much fun. We talked business (of course we talked business - lol), family, travel, books, goals, and more. Partway through our adventure we turned off our headlamps and looked at the stars. It was the perfect way to start my 2020 New Year's Resolution!