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art

Growing a baby (and a Festival) in a pandemic

In June 2020, I found myself pregnant with my second child. I rolled my eyes at becoming a part of the now famous “Covid-baby club.” It’s a popular club for a reason and I was now a happy member. We had just recently and successfully hosted our 8th annual SkirtsAfire Festival in March, about a week before the lockdowns began. I remember enjoying the spring and the start of summer, feeling optimistic that in a month or two, things would return to normal and we would all get back to our festival city as planned. Then slowly but surely, things started getting postponed, then canceled, and our case numbers took a sharp turn for the worse. Through it all, as I grew this baby mostly isolated to my home, we planned for SkirtsAfire 2021: a return to indoor in-person performances in a safe way.

Having a baby in a pandemic is different. This baby will be welcomed into the world with masks and the strong scent of hand sanitizer and the rough touch of overly-washed chapped hands. No gatherings of friends and family to hold and kiss the fresh being that just entered the world. Instead, there will be more screen time than I’d like to admit my newborn will have, more time spent with me on my phone texting and emailing pictures and updates, more time spent alone, just our small family. I think of my friends who have had babies in 2020 who have no family in the city, most out of the country even, who have had no relatives allowed to visit and have no known date in the future they’ll get to meet the new addition. My sisters live in Hong Kong and I don’t know when they will get to meet their new nephew. Things I never thought I’d need to feel sad about before.

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In Edmonton, Events, Health, Style on
February 19, 2021

SkirtsAfire REIMAGINED #YEG + {Discount code}

SkirtsAfire in Edmonton is self-described as “diverse and daring”. Things are a little different this year, but it will still be 10 days of engaging and entertaining performances and experiences!

We have taken in their 2017 through 2020 MainStage Productions as well as Opening Night Parties, and of course, the fantastic SkirtsAfire Skirt Design Competition. This year they will be bringing the heart of SkirtsAfire into your home! Check out SkirtsAfire’s engaging online content as well as outdoor offerings, where you can expect a covid-safe trip around Old Strathcona experiencing art, design, and music.

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Homemade Paint!

homemade paint

As we spend more time at home and try to not run to the store for every little thing, I am finding that we are trying to use what we already have on hand. Or, make what we need from things we have here. OR, just make things because we have nothing else to do! For my son’s Art Week at school we were given some projects to create at home. One of the projects was window painting with homemade paint. I wanted to share it here because it’s quick, fun and cleans up easily!

Homemade Paint

Homemade Paint

  • Flour
  • Liquid Dish Soap
  • Warm Water
  • Food Colouring

Mix equal parts of flour, soap and warm water in a large bowl. We used 1/2 a cup of each, but depending on how much paint you’d like you can adjust. Use a whisk to ensure that all the flour is mixed in. Find some small bowls and add the uncoloured paint to them. We used old plastic applesauce containers that I keep in the craft supplies. Use food colouring to create your own custom colours of paint! A while back at the grocery store I found these Neon food colours, they created some really pretty shades.

homemade paint

We painted on the window at our front door with a variety of brush types. Any mistakes we made were easily wiped away with a wet cloth. We also tried the paint on paper and canvas, with success!

homemade painting

What homemade projects have you been enjoying with the kids? Let us know!

Every Day GirlEdmonton Real Estate

 

In Edmonton on
February 28, 2018

Who knew balance would be so hard for a dancer?

By Stephanie Lilley

I have 16 minutes to write this entire blog post. That is the time before my workout starts, I then have to pick up my 1.5 year old from daycare, pick up my 3.5 year old from playschool, take both tiny terrorists grocery shopping (my MBA has left me ill-equipped to negotiate with them), get them home and napped (by “napped” I mean the older will watch Paw Patrol and the younger will alternate between crying to be breastfed and biting my nipples), take everyone out for some sunshine, clean the whole house, make dinner, get ready for date night (reapply deodorant and change into a different pair of stretchy pants), and go to a local dance company’s show for date night.  

I am a professional contemporary dancer/choreographer and I run Viva Dance Company. I have been married to my wonderful husband for almost a decade and I am mother to the 2 most amazing kids. I have the best life of anybody I know, but I am busier than my kids during the sermon at church! I am burning the candle at both ends and also roasting the middle on a surprisingly hot Easybake oven. Like many women I know, I wear many hats. Mother, wife and artist are my most important, and also my most demanding roles.  

In just a few weeks, myself and the other Viva dancers will be dancing in the Skirtsafire Festival. We train together 2-3 times a week and have performed over 200 times since I started the company in 2012. I wish I could say that our success has translated into money but performing arts companies simply do not turn profits with ticket sales alone, and with the other hats I wear I don’t have time to apply for grants and sponsorships. Furthermore, people often expect that because I love dancing that I should donate my services. In short, it is hard to make a living wage as an artist. It is doubly hard to do so while putting out family fires (literally).  

The payoff? When I am dancing, I get to move my body in infinite ways, the body that houses the soul that loves my husband profoundly, the body that brought two children into this life. My body should be celebrated in all of its postpartum glory and what better way than through movement? In those moments when I can drop my guard and bear my soul, I lose myself and find myself.  

In the blink of an eye, my 16 minutes is almost up and I must go workout so that I can keep up with the 20 year old dancers in my dance company. 

Tough as a mother & yours in dance, 

Stephanie Lilley

Stephanie Lilley is a contemporary dancer/choreographer and runs Viva Dance Company

Facebook: @Vivadancecompany , Twitter: @ViVAdanceCo , Instagram: viva_dance_company

 Find SkirtsAfire on Facebook , Twitter , & Instagram.
This post was sponsored by the SkirtsAfire Festival Society. 
In Edmonton, Explore, Parenting on
January 20, 2018

In Edmonton? Take in Ice on Whyte! {+Give Away}

Is there anything more majestic than walking through a magical wonderland of crystal clear art, created out of ice, the lights dancing through? 

Old Strathcona hosts The Boardwalk Ice on Whyte Festival Jan 25-28 & Feb 1-4!
And we’ve got 4 tickets you can enter to win!

 

Founded in 2003 by the Old Strathcona Business Association in partnership with local artists, the Ice on Whyte Festival brings the unique art form of ice carving to Edmonton. The festival showcases internationally acclaimed, professional ice carvings, and is one of only 3 Professional Ice Carving Competitions in Canada.

Bring out your inner ice carver!

The festival offers L’il and Big Chipper Ice Carving Lessons on Saturdays and Sundays.

There is all kinds of fun for the whole family!

NEW for 2018!

The International Ice Carving Competition takes place in a giant tent that will keep the carvings in pristine condition for visitors to enjoy through to the end of the Festival on February 4.

Just in time for DATE NIGHT!

The Boardwalk Ice on Whyte Festival also features an Ice Bar that serves up locally brewed and distilled beverages. Not to mention there’s a Painting Party, Whiskey Stew Off, and live music at Blues on Whyte!

Visit www.iceonwhyte.ca/festival for details on all the details and the calendar of events!

Enter to win 4 tickets to Ice on Whyte for your family!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This post was sponsored by the Ice on Whyte Festival Society. As always, all opinions stated are our own. 

In Calgary, Central Alberta on
November 4, 2017

14 Places for Indoor Fun in Red Deer & Area

The snow is here and maybe here to stay. There’s always fun to be had outside – snowman making, tobogganing, and fort making. Sometimes having someplace to go and play inside can prevent full-on hibernation mode and expend some energy in a warm and cozy environment.

Here’s our list of places to take your kids for some indoor fun in and around Red Deer.

Red Deer Museum offers great programming for kids and the chance to have fantastic art & cultural experiences.

Red Deer Public Library. Have you looked at their calendar? With 3 branches there is something going on all the time. And if not, there’s always the books to take your kid away on a ride through their imagination!

Check out the Red Deer Recreation and Culture activity guide! The Collicutt Centre offers registered programs, drop-ins, a climbing wall and of course – the water park!

Jump 360 Red Deer offers lots of trampoline fun!

Treehouse Indoor Playground Red Deer has events, daily specials and lots of indoor fun – 11,000 square feet of it to be precise.

If you’ve got an artist on your hands, Color Me Mine has creative outlet options for your kids. They could even make some Christmas gifts for grandma and grandpa. Two birds, one stone there!

Lazerforce offers indoor laser tag for all ages.

Outside the City

You can find all kinds of fun inside Alberta Sports Hall of Fame Museum including interactive mulit-sport games.

In Blackfalds, the Red Deer Kinsmen Indoor Playspace, located in the Abbey Centre,  has 6 levels and over 2600 square feet of fun for your child 12 years and under.

The Sylvan Lake NexSource Centre features a children’s playspace & programming for the whole family.

Also in Sylvan Lake, much like the RDPL, Sylvan Library has programming for kids and of course – books!

In Penhold, the Multiplex Area offers drop in programming and special events.

There’s also the Penhold Library!

Central Parkland Parentlink runs programs and playgroups in the smaller towns and rural areas too!

Did we miss anything? Where do you take your little one to play in and around Red Deer?