Get thee to CHIHULY

Last month I was in Montreal for a single day which I spent (due to heavy rain) indoors at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA). While it may have been gloomy outdoors, inside it felt like a magical Garden of Paradise thanks to the ethereal, other-worldly glass sculpture of American artist Dale Chihuly.

An acknowledged master of site-specific installation, Chihuly created a unique exhibit consisting of eight immersive environments, four of them designed specifically for the Museum. This exhibit inspired me to take MANY photos and his use of bold colours and organic forms have even made an impact on my latest drawings.

The Canadian exclusive exhibit CHIHULY: Utterly Breathtaking is on now at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts until October 20, 2013. If you can, go see it!

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Nighttime in Europe

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This gallery contains 10 photos.

With the crisp autumn chill in the air summer seems far away. So I thought I’d share these nighttime photos I took in Dublin, Bruges, Brussels and Copenhagen back in August. I love the golden glow of street lights and the … Continue reading

Cloudbusting: make it happen

But every time it rains,

You’re here in my head,

Like the sun coming out

Ooh, I just know that something good is gonna happen.

And I don’t know when,

But just saying it could even make it happen.

— Kate Bush, lyrics from Cloudbusting

Lately I’ve received a few very nicely worded rejection letters (emails actually). Hearing “no” doesn’t feel great initially, but it’s not as bad as you might think.

Strangely, rejection is  kind of empowering. These little setbacks don’t make me want to quit; quite the opposite they make me feel a little more fearless. Rejection brings out that inner voice that says: “I can do this”. It reminds me that success is the process of doing, not the end result.

Rabbit Love

I love rabbits and chocolate so the idea of the Easter Bunny is pure genius to me. I hope he brings you (and me too) some chocolate eggs this weekend.

Happy Easter! Happy Spring!

Riccardo Zema

p.s. Enjoy these wonderful images of rabbits that I found on Pinterest.  Please click hare (pun intended) if you want to view more.

akitaka ito

Rabbit showjumping

Aaron Meshon

Olaf Hajek

bunny sugar cubes perfect for Easter brunch

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Love Ever After

Go ahead and call me a silly romantic but I believe in everlasting love.  I enjoy hearing stories of how couples met and I get teary-eyed whenever I see an elderly man and woman walking hand-in-hand. So I needed a box of tissue today when I discovered on Kickstarter this inspiring photography project (which you can help fund) called     Love Ever After:

Inspired by the discovery of her grandparents’ love letters, Lauren Fleischman has spent the last three years photographing and interviewing NYC-area couples who have been together for over 50 years. The resulting collection will make your heart warm and eyes misty: a series of visual love letters that prove, no matter who you are or where you’re from, we can all relate to a little thing called “love.”

“April 14th will be our 68th wedding anniversary. That’s right, you heard it! Friends ask me how I managed to get someone like Jean. So I have one expression. I prayed well.”        Abe Small, March 2, 2011.

“We met when we lived in China. I was on vacation in another town and we only saw each other for three days. We lived very far apart and so, when I returned home, we sent letters. At that time we didn’t even have a telephone! We wrote letters each week but it took about 20 days for our letters to reach each other. We did this for five years.”                              Jin Lin Chen, March 15, 2011.

Sam and Grace Goldstein photographed in Midwood, Brooklyn                                  Grace: “We met Labor Day weekend in September and he proposed to me two weeks later on my birthday. He took me to a French restaurant. My father and my brother and my sister objected because I didn’t know him that well but instinctively as a Libra I felt that he was the right person. So they objected but I felt that it was the right thing. My feeling was that if I made a mistake it would be my mistake and I’d only have myself to blame. If I didn’t marry him and I didn’t meet anyone else that equalled the way I felt for him I would always blame my family. So I took it upon myself to say yes.”

“Everyday my wife expresses her love for me. She says, did I tell you how much I love you today? Everyday. Everyday she says that.”                                                                      Moe Rubenstein, August 24, 2008.  

Can’t get enough true love? Watch the video here. All photographs are copyright Lauren Fleishman.

Please share the love (and this post) with all the happily married couples you know, both young and young at heart. HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!

p.s. Almost 14 years ago I was blessed with the infinite good luck to marry my best friend and soul mate. Happy Valentine’s Day Rabbit! xox

No regrets

“I’d rather regret the things I’ve done

than regret the things I haven’t done.”

Lucille Ball

Last week a friend sent me a link to a blog called Inspiration and Chai by Bonnie Ware. For many years she worked in palliative care and has written a book that explores the 5 most common regrets of the dying. Surprisingly, the most common regrets were not the things people had done, but what they hadn’t.  

With the intention of avoiding having one of these common regrets as my own, I decided to write (and share) this list of corresponding antidotes:

5 Ways to Live Life with No Regrets

  1. Be true to yourself; pursue your passions.
  2. Don’t work too hard; spend quality time with the people you love.
  3. Express yourself honestly; you can’t please everyone.
  4. Make the effort to stay in touch with old friends.
  5. Let yourself be happy. Adults need laughter and silliness too.

p.s. Click here to view the 5 most common regrets of the dying; it’s an interesting read.

secrets to eternal youth

I believe that the secret to a long, happy life lies in simplicity and beauty and this short film reaffirms that belief.

Shot in Fire Island, New York, this inspiring short film (4 min. 23 sec) created by artist and filmmaker Julia Warr captures the secrets of eternal youth as Maia Helles, a Russian ballet dancer turns 95 but still remains resolutely independent, healthy and as fit as a forty year old.

 “My secret to long life is simplicity, work and enjoyment.” Maia Helles

Maia’s beauty shines not only from within, but inhabits her home and everything she makes. She’s my kind of role model.

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.

Barnyard Beauty: Poultry Portraits

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This gallery contains 9 photos.

On Thanksgiving Monday I attended the 159th annual Rockton World Fair. The sunny weather reached a record high as thousands of people flocked to see the horse show, cow milking and sheep shearing demonstrations, baking and quilting competitions, tractor pull and … Continue reading