Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

I'm kind of doing a cross post of what's on my teaching blog.

But I HAD to show you the cool pumpkins that my class made today!

Look at the emotion!

see the rest here!

Sunday, October 30, 2011


Poppytalk is another design blog that I follow.

They too have put out a "lookbook" called Indie Love. It's a book of indie handmade and vintage goods from around the world.

It's the digital edition highlighting artists from the Poppytalk handmade shop.

Perfect eye candy. And it's extra special for me because Jan, the owner, is Canadian :)

This is a room with super fabulous wallpaper that she posted (and that I pinned :)

And check out this totally inspiring laundry room (definitely puts my concrete block walls to shame) . Jan has posted 12 Laundry Rooms (and closets) to be inspired by on Babble. (another one of my favourite sites)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

True Colors

I finally had a bit of time to do some of my own art. Well, these pages are for Saundra's book. I'm currently in a "round robin". Some people have asked me what this is, and why I do them.


In 2004 I had to got to my favourite Rubber Stamp, Great Impressions (now Bizzie B's) store to buy a gift for my friend Meep. When I was there I saw this fabulous book -- True Colors: A Palette of Collaborative Art Journals, published by Stampington.

True Colors showcases the art of 15 amazing mixed media artists. Each artist chose a journal and a colour scheme and then sent it on to the next artist, who would work in the book, using the colours that the journal 'owner' had selected. This book was the most wonderful book that I had ever seen. Seriously.

I went home and thought about the book for days. At the time, I had NO money -- I was a single parent and I had gone back to school (teachers college). So I scraped together every cent I had and walked back to the store (it's about 5 miles) (each way) and bought the book. At the time it was $50 Canadian (our dollar was low). Pricey. But so worth it. It lit a fire in me. I searched the internet for some way that I too could do this. Then I found ArtChix Studio, and entered the world of online yahoo communities (Sadly, Art Chix doesn't have a yahoo group any more).

I found a wonderful Round Robin Group (thanks to Julie for believing in me and letting me join!). I now have many beautiful journals of my own... and I have personally met half of those True Colors artists. I've told them what an impact they made on my life. It truly was a life changing experience. Well worth the fact that we had to live on Kraft Dinner and Campbells soup for a month to make up for it (Sorry Miss L).

This led to an interest in Artist Trading Cards, and also to forays into many different kinds of mixed media. My deepest love is still for fabric based projects, but art journaling still is high up there in my list of things that I love to do.

Many thanks to Stampington and the fifteen True Colors Artists!
Please click on a name to visit their websites or blogs. Many of them teach -- I would not say no to a class taught by any one of these talented women :)

Lynne Perrella
(buy her books or take her classes!)
Sarah Fishburn (Pasticcio Quartz is a must -read)
Teesha Moore (read the blog, go to the retreat (artfest) or buy some rubber stamps)
Marylinn Kelly
Linn C. Jacobs (sadly, Linn has passed away)
Michelle Ward (read her blog, take a challenge or buy some fabulous rubber stamps!)
Anne Bagby
Karen Michel (I can't even begin to gush enough about Karen)
Monica Riffe (no website :(
Claudine Hellmuth (I so want to take a class from Claudine! Please come to Toronto!)
Lisa Renner (I keep missing her classes at ArtUnraveled. Next year for sure)
Judi Riesch
Keely Barham (now Keeley Benkey) (Keeley is lovely)
Nina Bagley (Nina makes me laugh every time I see her -- she is so.... Nina)
Lisa Hoffman

You can read more about these artists on Seth Apters Blog

Lynne Perrella
Marylinn Kelly
Michelle Ward & Lisa Renner
Lisa Hoffman & Judi Riesch
Anne Bagby & Karen Michel
Teesha Moore & Monica Riffe
Sarah Fishburn & Keeley Benkey
Nina Bagley

Linn Jacobs

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Lovely Clusters

Rachel Follett's blog -- Lovely Clusters- the pretty blog is one of my favourites!

Her blog encompassses so much -- colour inspiration, mood boards, inspiring spaces, fashion finds, and more. She also showcases artists. It is a daily read for me.

She has just put out a beautiful magazine/ catalog full of pretty things -- with links to all of the shops (just hover over the image in the catalogue and when the link appears, click on it)

I think that I just HAVE to have this bunny in a bathtub. It is so odd :)

Source: via Martha on Pinterest

Source: via Martha on Pinterest

And these cloud earrings are adorable too

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Blogging for Bliss

So.Blissdom. I've had a bit of time for reflection and I've realized that my blog isn't exactly what I want (or need) it to be. I originally began it as a showcase for my own art. But I need it to be more.

m-is-for-martha will change a bit. I'm still going to be blogging about my art, but I will also focus on my inspiration. The things that make me who I am (and who I want to be). I'm going to focus on the blogs that inspire me. The events that inspire me. The little things that inspire me. The big things that inspire me. inspiration

Some inspiration from my dear friend Colette Source: via Martha on Pinterest

At Blissdom I learned how to market my blog. How to make it popular. How to write it so it has great SEO ( search engine optimization). All of those things were interesting, and perhaps they will be in the back of my mind as I write, but being popular has never been my focus. Being true has. Having said that I also learned at Blissdom to question who I am and how I want people to see me. Because my blog is an extension of myself. It's like extending a handshake to the reader. Inviting them into my life a bit. Inviting YOU into my life a bit.

I have read Tara Frey's book Blogging for Bliss -- it is a useful resource for bloggers, especially bloggers who are artists or craftspeople. Of course, it is very pretty throughout, and I am all about the eye candy :)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Blissdom Canada 2011

This weekend I lucky enough to be able to attend the sold out Blissdom Canada Social Media Conference here in Toronto. It was billed as a woman's event, but there were a few men there too, attending and presenting.(huge thanks to the organizers -- Barbara Jones, Paula Bruno, Alli Worthington, Catherine Connors)

This is a short video that CBC made at the Gala Opening.

I met many, many, many wonderful, inspiring women.

Julie Demers (@TweetJewels) (Julie blogs for Caprina -- the wonderful goat's milk skin care products) and I met at the Thursday night Presidents Choice Financial Tweet up (yeah, hahaha, really funny for me to attend, because up to that point I had never tweeted).

(that thing that Julie is holding is a cookie! I kid you not. We ate it a few seconds after I took this photo)

Shannon Sveda (Canadian ECE) and Kelly Williams saved me from aloneness ( hey, spellcheck isn't changing that -- is " aloneness" really a word?) at the Gala opening at the CBC on Thursday( I had lost Julie) (we found her shortly after). Thanks girls! Barb Fine (Little Footprints) joined us too! The cosmic alignment teamed us up many more times throughout the event.

(Kelly, Shannon and me eating. That's what we did. Ate)

Of course, it wasn't all fun and parties ( okay, maybe it was all fun, but not all parties)
I attended some GREAT sessions!
(you can find the whole agenda and descriptions of the sessions here)

The Art And Science Of Finding Inspiration – And Using It
Tanis Miller, Elan Morgan, Bon Stewart

She Works Hard For The Money (And So Do You): Why And How You Should Be Making Money From Your Blog.
Janice Croze, Andrea Tomkins, Susie Parker, Katie York

Canadian-Ish: Being Canadian in A Borderless Digital World
Kyran Pittman, Allana Harkin, Catherine Connors (Moderator)

Take your Craft To The Next Level
Karen Green, Angella Dykstra, Aidan Morgan

What’s In A Brand? The Art Of Defining Yourself And Your Creative Work
Kimberley Seldon, Gail Vaz-Oxlade, Dee Brun, Julie Cole (Moderator)

To Publish Or Not To Publish: Taking Your Writing Beyond The Blog (Or Not)
Ann Douglas, Jen Reynolds, Theresa Albert, Nadine Silverthorne

New Media Vs Old Media Vs Next Media: What’s On The Canadian Cultural Horizon

I had kind of a blog epiphany during the Art of Defining Yourself session... I got all teary.... because I am finally figuring out who I am and who I want to be :)

On Friday night there was a fabulous party -- MabelBliss -- hosted by Mabels Labels)
Mmmmm.... Mabel' Tinis.....

There were some totally amazing snowcones by Sweet Ice Snow Cones! I'd show you a picture, but I can't seem to find any promo pics on their website....
-- I am still dreaming about the strawberry lime one that I had. You can book them for your event! Wouldn't snowcones be SO FUN at a wedding?

Urban Moms hosted a screening of Miss Representation -- a film that explores how the media’s misrepresentation of women has led to the underrepresentation of women in positions of power and influence. Powerful and moving......
I was too tired to attend the closing night Costume and Karaoke Party, but I heard that it was so much fun. I'll go next year! I promise!

So, what did I learn? That I needed a twitter account ( to tell you the truth,I'm still not totally sure why). So I set it up while I was there. you can follow me @m4martha. Many, many thanks to Shannon and Barb who helped me brainstorm my name.....

I also learned that I really need to "define" who I am, why I'm blogging, and what I want my message to be... More on this in my next post.

My business card garnered LOTS of interest.

It totally reflects who I am and what I do, so I was really pleased with all of the compliments :). Next time I need to have a bit more info on it-- my Twitter handle, and maybe a line about what I do...and my teacher blog addy too.... Looks like I'll need a few more rubber stamps! ( I don't like to print my cards because I like to make them from recycled card.....). I designed my stamp in photoshop and then emailed it off to Vistaprint to make for me. I am very happy with the quality of the stamp ( self inking). I've had some stamps custom made on etsy and I wasn't happy with the quality.... one of the few instances that I could do something better than an "expert".

Special thanks to the sponsors! (there were many more than I have listed below)

Kelloggs gave us bags full of coupons, lots of cereal, a special travel cereal bowl, and A super cute Toucan Sam tshirt! We got to pose for a cereal box cover too! They also sponsored our breakfasts -- Blueberry MiniWheats are so yummy!

Arm and Hammer gave bags of product too! ( I've already tried the OxyClean stain remover-- it rocks!)

Fisher Price gave out toys and diapers ( mine are going to a Woman's Shelter nearby)( except for the super cute iPhone cover for babies -- that's going to my cousin for her adorable baby!)

Maple Leaf gave us bread ( Mr. B made French Toast with it this morning- very yummy), and lots of other yummy stuff and coupons!

Kraft Canada had a spooky room set up filled with yummy Halloween treats made from their products -- and we got loot bags too!

And check out these super cute labels from Mabels Labels!!!

Lisa Leonard made all attendees this pretty Blissdom necklace! Checkout her website for having your own custom necklace made! (and also other very cool personalized things. How about some customized collar stays with a message on them. What a great gift!)

I will definitely go back to Blissdom next year! Will you see me there?

Friday, October 14, 2011

Know thyself

Some things that people don't know about me:
I am very shy. I have to force myself to interact with adults.

Some things about which I am knowledgeable:
Early Childhood Education. Play based learning. Emergent curriculum. Kindergarten.
My Bernina.

Some things about which I am not knowledgeable:
Twitter :)
The gym......
My Singer Featherweight

Some things that I believe:
Determination gets me by.

" If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid"

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


Saturday, October 01, 2011

Nuit Blanche

Tonight is Nuit Blanche. I am here.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Park dale