I feel good today

The objects in our environment can positively influence our mood and this 3D wall art, “I feel good today” by artist Niels Bruschke of Santiago Design does just that.  The whimsical wall decor uses a bicycle as the focal point and gives customers a daily dose of optimism alongside their morning java at erste liebe a popular coffee bar located in Hamburg, Germany.

How are you feeling today?

art = a happy heart

Last night I had a ridiculously good time at the opening night preview party of The Artist Project (March 1-4) an exciting juried art show featuring original works from over 200 independent Canadian and International contemporary artists. If you live in Toronto I highly encourage you to see the show before it closes on Sunday.

Here’s a peek of just a few of my favourite artists:

Image © Tara Krebs

Image © Cori Lee Marvin

Image © Jennifer Wigmore

Image © Amanda Burk

Image © Casey Roberts

Image © Graham French

Art makes my world a better place.

Shake Your Tail Feathers

Back in October I wrote a blog post about attending the 159th annual Rockton World Fair where I shared my Poultry Portraits. Since then I’ve created dozens of patterns based on photographs I took of those beautiful birds. Click here to view some of my favourites. I think these designs would make for some rather unique fabric, notecards or wallpaper. What do you think?

The story behind the scarf

Last weekend I was visiting a longtime girlfriend in Prince Edward County and was able to show her my scarves for the first time. As I shared ‘Out of the Blue’ with her and her mom, I enthusiastically pointed out where each of the images in the photo-collage pattern originate. “Why don’t you tell people that in your blog?” she asked me. But how would I ever be able to replicate this one-to-one experience? Click here to view the visual story of the inspiration for this scarf. I hope you like it.

Out of the Blue – Edition #3

Out of the Blue - Limited Edition scarf (left) and details

“To expect the unexpected shows a thoroughly modern intellect.” 

Oscar Wilde

OUT OF THE BLUE – Limited Edition scarf

Inspired by the colour blue, this photo collage contains sky, sea and everything in between. Wear it on days you’re hoping to encounter something or someone completely unexpected.

  • 100% silk
  • Square (36” x 36”)
  • Designed in Toronto
  • Made in the USA

Wing It: Feel ready to improvise

Wing It - Limited Edition scarf (upper right corner) and details

WING IT – Limited Edition #2

We can’t always be prepared, sometimes we need to act on the fly. Feel ready to improvise in this feathered design.

  • 100% silk
  • Square (36” x 36”)
  • Designed in Toronto
  • Made in the USA

 I don’t have to tell you how quickly things are changing, and while being fully prepared for what lies ahead may be ideal it’s rarely possible. So today’s post and my newest scarf is an ode to improvisation. Here’s to going with the flow.

“Life is a lot like jazz… it’s best when you improvise.”

George Gershwin

Preview of Flower Power

Details of Flower Power - Limited Edition scarf (12" x 72")

It finally arrived! Yesterday, the very first scarf in my debut collection of modern silk scarves was delivered to my studio.

I wore my new scarf with a black trench coat as I walked to the neighborhood ‘candy store’ to purchase a bottle of champagne. It was time to officially celebrate this milestone, just as soon as my husband arrived home from work.

For me, this isn’t just a scarf. It’s the nine months of hard work I spent on it that makes this silk square so important.

My little dream is now a physical reality. And because it’s real, it’s no longer perfect. Only ideas are perfect. Instead it’s my beautiful imperfection. Something I’m proud to share with you.

FLOWER POWER – Limited Edition Scarf

A celebration of strength and femininity, this brightly coloured design combines bold floral graphics with delicate pattern. Wear it when you want to make peace, not war.

  • 100% silk
  • Oblong (12″ wide x 72″ long)
  • Designed in Toronto
  • Made in the USA

The Element of Subtraction

Image by Lila Cheekytree

In art, sometimes what isn’t there can be more powerful than what is. Like when a music composer uses silence to create a dramatic pause. Or how an artist utilizes empty space on a canvas. Or when a director doesn’t actually show you the monster in a horror film.

And in life too, sometimes less is more.

So from now on when I’m reviewing my daily ‘To Do’ list, I’m going to incorporate the element of subtraction and eliminate what doesn’t really matter to make room for what does.

p.s. This blog post was inspired by the article Zen & the Art of Simplicity by Mathew E. May.

Taking Flight

Image by Lila Cheekytree

For the past 9 months I’ve been working non-stop to design and create my debut collection of modern silk scarves. I’ve still got a long way to go, but this week I received two small packages from my UPS courier that made me do a little happy dance. Well TWO happy dances actually, one for each delivery.

The first parcel contained my Cheekytree brand labels that will be sewn into each scarf. The second contained a strike-off, a sample of my design custom printed onto silk.

Now the contents of these two packages may not sound that exciting to you – but to me, they are evidence that my little dream is slowly becoming a physical reality.

My friends and family are very supportive. They enthusiastically ask me all sorts of questions. At first I was a bit defensive because I didn’t have all the answers. I still don’t. If I stop to think about everything I need to do, I can feel overwhelmed. So my strategy is to concentrate on what needs to be done today. The rest I add to my to-do list.

My efforts have been focused on creating a collection of scarves that I’d want to wear myself. The designs must be modern, playful and above all, beautiful. Timeless not trendy. Classic but a bit quirky too. They must be unique; unlike anything I can already buy. They must be made to last, not just for this season but for years to come. A collection that’s sensitive to the environment and keeps Mother Nature smiling.

I’m inspired by the words of French film director, Robert Bresson (1901-1999) who was often described as a “painter” of films in a category all their own:

“Make visible what, without you, might perhaps have never been seen.”

As I take flight into unfamiliar territory, I’m determined to enjoy this exhilarating ride. Sure it’s a little scary at times, but it’s the unknown that makes it exciting.

Make Your Own Rules


Original artwork by Lila Cheekytree

Cheekytree Manifesto

  • Play every day.
  • Always be kind – to yourself and others.
  • Consume less. Create more.
  • Laugh easily and often.
  • Do the things you loved as a kid.
  • Respect Nature.
  • Be a bit cheeky. Make your own rules.
  • Cultivate your sense of wonder.
  • Believe in the power of make-believe.
  • Ignore the naysayers.
  • Keep it simple.
  • Seek self-improvement, but don’t overdo it.
  • Find beauty and inspiration in real life.
  • Focus on the good stuff.
  • Love lots.
  • Always remember:

Happiness is not something you find.  It’s something you create.

These are just a few of my beliefs on life and happiness. What are yours? If there’s something you’d like to add, please post a comment.