Healing Power of Art: Interview with Ken Ballantyne

Back in the 1970’s, art wasn’t part of Ken Ballantyne’s life. An aspiring teacher, Ken was a student at the University of Victoria, B.C., cycling around town on a regular basis. While riding his bicycle to a movie one fateful day, he collided with a vehicle. Back in the 1970’s helmets for cyclists were uncommon….

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When is Enough, Enough? One Word Theme

When the snow covered our town last week, yet again, the cry went up: Enough already! We want flowers and sunshine and birds. Yet this seems to be the winter that goes on and on, my friend. Funny how the same people who danced with joy when the first snowflakes fell five months ago, are…

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The Clutter Crusade Continues

A few weeks ago I explored some lessons in decluttering. Even though winter still has a grip, there is a change in the air. I am ready to shake off the winter blahs and lethargy. I am ready for open spaces, inside and out. A clutter crusade has taken hold of me, and I’m riding…

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Life Saving Handmade Creativity

Have you ever had an ‘aha’ moment light up your mind — the startling realization that a series of seemingly random events in your life click into place? That happened to me today. It was shades of “Inside Out”. I could almost sense a little animated figure dancing around inside my head, chortling with glee. “Excellent!”…

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Lessons in Decluttering Stuff

Searching for simplicity versus the accumulation of stuff is striking a chord in our culture. Identifying a new and improved way to live our lives and how to handle our resources has taken hold. No longer are we enamoured by excess. Rather, the opposite is true. Shedding our overstuffed spaces for a simpler way of life…

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Spelling Bees and Typos

Remember “Spelling Bees”? I could never figure out what a bee had to do with it (though I googled it just now to satisfy my curiosity). My elementary school held spelling competitions, known as “bees” weekly. Perhaps the competition was an effort to inspire or frighten us into learning our assigned words. In any case,…

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Getting Creative for Valentine’s Day

Ever since Grade 6 when classmate Phillip Louie gave me a heart-shaped box of chocolates on Valentine’s Day, I’ve approached this annual celebration with some trepidation. Don’t get me wrong, I love chocolates. However, as an awkward pre-teen, with absolutely no interest in this particular boy, it was highly embarrassing to be singled out with…

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Knit One or Crochet Two — Warming Kids Up

Dark winter evenings, curled up by the fireplace, are ideal times for indoor activities. My favourites include small crochet or knit projects. There are patterns galore online. This easy baby hat pattern works up quickly. Every baby needs a warm hat, especially in the cooler months. Baby girls look especially stylish in a cute knit…

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Keeping it Simple on Screen Freedom Day

Last week I posted a personal challenge. How difficult would it actually be to seek freedom from “screens”? Perhaps this was not as simple as I thought, as my home is littered with “screens”: there’s a TV or a computer, iPad or iPod securely nestled in most rooms. However, a certain determination to follow through…

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Screen Freedom Day this Sunday

What would it be like to live screen free, even if just for one day? Screens are so prevalent — smart phones, tablets, laptops, desktop computers, TV’s, ATM’s, menu boards in fast food outlets — the list goes on and on! Screen Time Boundaries The idea of screen freedom has been percolating in my mind…

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