I can still picture the place perfectly. My very own grown-up studio loft. It’s at least 1500 square feet of wide-open space. Long, narrow, two-story, stained-glass windows with arches, frame the room on either side. My bed is centered on the far-back brick wall with soft linen sheets tossed perfectly imperfect. Thin hardwood floors in a herringbone pattern, with markings of time gone by, connect my bed to my art studio which occupies at least 2/3 of the wide-open space. I have come to realize this place I picture is unusually grand for a single room in New York City, but that was my vision.
I think it was about grade 11 that I placed my vision in NYC, but I was about 5 when I decided I wanted to be an artist when I grew up. I spent hours sketching Betty and Veronica fashion spreads while I started to picture details of this space in my mind. It’s no wonder I ended up in the interior design industry specializing in textiles.
SkirtsAfire Festival in Edmonton is self-described as “diverse, inclusive and daring”, guaranteeing there’s something for everyone at their 10th anniversary festival, running March 3-13 in Old Strathcona. With the ever-changing pandemic climate we’re all navigating, there is one thing for certain – SkirtsAfire will offer 10 days of engaging and entertaining performances and experiences!
We have taken in their MainStage Productions since 2017 as well as Opening Night Parties, and of course, the fantastic SkirtsAfire Skirt Design Competition. Featuring the work of women and non-binary folks in the arts in Edmonton – MARCH 3-13, 2022. Check out SkirtsAfire, experiencing theatre, visual art, design, music, comedy, and more.
For those of you familiar with the Devon River Valley Trail in Voyageur Park, right on. For those of you who don’t, go. Especially if you have early bird kids, or if you are one!
A friend and I went on a Saturday morning, met at 530AM in the parking lot, and by golly, nary a soul in sight. We didn’t run into one person on the path and upon returning to our vehicle, there were just a few fellas fishing under the bridge.
There are a few fire pits with picnic tables along the river that would just be amazing with the fam jam and the “beachy” part we came across would entertain my kids for HOURS just throwing rocks in. Didn’t bring them this time – mama needed a break but next time!
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.
Hey, 2020 – Burn Baby Burn!
Just kidding of course, but if you have space to safely do a ritual burning of your 2020 agenda as suggested by the Wall Street Journal, we are not going to judge.
Let’s talk New Year’s Eve with the family. Your household family of course I mean, this being COVID times.
What can you do to make it special and fun for everyone?
We have a few thoughts!
KID-FRIENDLY OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES – a recent post, from one of our amazing contributors has some great ideas to get out and about!
Do you feel like it’s the same old thing every year? Quickly after the beauty of fall fades, the next season creeps in. A season that makes even some of the world’s most resilient animals say… yeah, no, gonna sleep through this one.
I’m talking about winter.
Winter makes us feel the need to bury ourselves under every blanket in the house, turn on the fireplace, and debate whether letting our kids watch TV for the next 5 months straight is reasonable. Anyone with me? I haven’t always been the biggest fan of winter and my fiance is even less impressed with this particular season.
Unfortunately (but also, fortunately), our 5-year-old child tends to set the stage for our daily activities, so… OUTSIDE WE GO! He has truly helped warm my relationship with winter. Greatly. I’ve come to actually love it! So I’m going to spend the next little while trying to convince you, while winter isn’t the easiest season to tolerate, it can be one of the most fun! Believe me?
First, let’s quickly touch on safety. Safety in the outdoors is always important, but I would say it’s the most critical in the winter with all the ice, snow, and darkness (I know… I’m selling it. Please keep reading!). I’ll keep it short. I strongly suggest you check the forecast and overpack with many layers and backups if you’re heading out. If your kiddo is typically unimpressed with the cold weather, bringing hand and foot warmers can help keep them toasty and you happy!
Winter Fun in the Backyard
What’s your favourite Farmers Market haul?
Featuring many local artisans who create unique items like candles, jewelry, woodwork, signs, bath bombs, skincare, flowers, paintings and so much more, Callingwood Farmers Market in Edmonton is just full of goodness.
Fresh and fun, there are so many amazing and healthy options at the market.
The “blue hour” is the shade of blue we see in the sky for a short time after the sun has set (or just before the sun rises) and the colours of the sunset fade, leaving behind a deep, rich blue. The tagline for The Blue Hour is, “The Moments Between Darkness and Light”. For me, these are the moments we all move back and forth from…
We’ve made it through January! Typically dreaded as one of the longest and worst months in Alberta- we’ve just come crashing down from Christmas, struggled to get back to routine, our wallets might be lighter, our skin is dry, there was a new moon and we’ve battled a tremendous cold snap…. SO if you are feeling particularly ragey right now, don’t feel bad! One of the best ways to release this energy and feel a little better (aside from screaming in your pantry with the door closed while you eat hidden chocolate) is to throw axes and smash things! Trust us, we’ve done it and it helps!
Where to Throw Axes and Smash things in Edmonton: