And I’m Back!

I haven’t posted here for a while, although that doesn’t mean I haven’t been out there finding joy 🙂

Last night, for example, a friend and I went to a Paint Nite, an event where a group of people spend a couple of hours painting, guided by an artist. We all work on the same picture although we have our own canvases. It was a lot of fun.

I used to paint with watercolours but I’ve never tried other media. We worked with acrylics which, to my delight, are far more forgiving and easy to work with than watercolours!

And here’s my “masterpiece”.

painting of a desert night sky

Desert Night ~ by Julie Wise

What matters to me most is that we had fun – no pressure and lots of laughter. Definitely a night to remember!

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Embrace!

It’s Valentine’s Day. A day for sharing loving thoughts with those around you. Just wondering…how often do you treat yourself with loving kindness? When you look in the mirror, do you see beauty and joy? Or do you notice extra weight here, a few new wrinkles there, maybe some gray hairs peeking through?

I’ve been following Taryn Brumfitt on Instagram (@bodyimagemovement), an Australian who joyfully embraces all that she is. Through her documentary film “Embrace”, she encourages all of us to recognize that our bodies are “the vehicle to our dreams”.

Tonight, in honour of Valentine’s Day, she has organized a “Girls’ Night In” across North America. You can download her film on iTunes or Google Play or Amazon, watch it at 8pm EST with thousands of people across the continent, and join her for a Q & A session after on social media.

What are your plans for Valentine’s Day? Maybe it’s a good night to snuggle up with the one you love, or host a get-together with friends and check out “Embrace”! I know I will.

poster for Embrace documentary

A Valentine’s Day special just for you!

Amazingly Awesome Days

I’ve been reading a book by Pam Grout in which she suggests starting every day with the thought that something amazingly awesome will happen today. What’s cool about this is that you begin to look for amazingly awesome moments in each day as a result. As the old saying goes, “Seek and ye shall find.”

I’ve been having so many amazingly awesome days ever since I started doing this.

Here’s a photo of one such moment: a kookaburra that “adopted” me while I was in Australia. It would land right beside where I was sitting and we would have a “chat”. If I moved to the back verandah, it would follow me there. If I went inside the house, it would hop along the railing so it could see through the open door and watch what I was doing. It would fly down and land beside me as I was hanging laundry.

Amazing…and awesome 🙂

What amazing and awesome things have happened to you recently?

kookaburra on railing

My new best friend! ~ Photo by Julie Wise

Giving Thanks

This weekend in Canada, we celebrated Thanksgiving.

There are so many things to be thankful for…family, friends, good health, the beauty that surrounds us, walks in nature, a country at peace.

And this weekend’s weather: picture perfect!

trees changing colour

A Canadian Thanksgiving postcard moment!

A Photo Story

They say a picture speaks a thousand words. Here’s a photo that speaks to me of great joy, although it may say little to you at first.

shoes in a hallway

A perfect evening!

These are some of the shoes worn by all the wonderful family and friends who came together last weekend to celebrate the wedding of my daughter and her longtime boyfriend. They came from all corners of the world, all ages, and a wide range of cultures.

Just looking at this photo speaks of me of vibrant conversations, heart-warming hugs, new friends, old friends, smiles and laughter, good food and drink, and the realization of just how loved my well-travelled daughter and her husband are.

What a blessing to have been a part of this extraordinary evening!

The Joy of Friendship

I’m so lucky. I have wonderful friends.

Last week, two of them brought me these flowers to celebrate my latest successes: the design and production of my new pencil case, and the launching of my shops on Etsy and on ArtofWhere.

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The Gift of Friendship

Friends who support and encourage your dreams and creativity are such a gift, aren’t they?

Who motivates you to keep dreaming and creating?