28 February 2012

Coming Clean...

Hi all! So I didn't lie when I said things would be sporadic here for the next little while, but I hope you will all hang in with me as I sort things out.

**Warning...long post no pics.**

Today I thought I would fill you in on what is happening around here, the good, the bad, and the ugly.

I think sometimes we get sucked into creating a facade of our lives on our blogs and I want my blog to be honest and authentic to me and who I am. Life is not always a bowl of cherries and things happen that change you either for a few moments or for a lifetime. Perhaps in sharing I can strike a chord with someone else and help them to feel a little less alone, or scared, or sad.

If you have been following along you will know that I am scheduled for surgery at the end of March, however I have not explained what is going on, so I thought I would do that today.

Still with me? Okay...

So last November after working out, I felt a weird sensation in my stomach/belly area. I just figured I had worked out my abs particularly hard and went on about my business. This sensation became present after each workout, but because it was not painful I thought little of it other than 'isn't that weird'.  Fast forward to end of December and one night laying in bed I started feeling around my belly and noticed a rather large lump (I'd say at the time it was about the size of an orange). Now, I had just lost 40lbs so my initial thought was 'maybe this is what one's insides feel like and I just never knew 'cause I had so much fat'. I kept tabs on it for a few days and it didn't go away. Then one night I woke in the middle of the night and it had moved locations...now this was weird, and I thought okay this is not right...time to see the doctor. By this time I would say the lump was about the size of a grapefruit.

As I waited in the doctors office I had a full out anxiety attack...what if I was imagining this? What if it was nothing and I was wasting this busy doctors time?...What if it was something?...What is it, what will happen?...Fear overcame me from both directions and it took everything I had in me not to cry. Enter the doctor. Now my doctor is wonderful, we always say he cares but not too much. He is not an alarmist, if things are fine he's quick to tell you that, and if he is concerned, he is calm and confident and takes appropriate measures. His look was of obvious and immediate concern as he palpated my stomach. Yes there was definitely something there...he palpated a few more minutes trying to get his bearings, and then said he wanted to do a pregnancy test...I joked that if I was pregnant I had some explaining to do as my husband had taken care of things a year ago...not pregnant was the verdict which I knew, so now the real fear set in. What was this? What could it be? What did my future now hold? Well on to the hospital the following week for a CT scan, then back to the doctor immediately following the results...always scary to get that call 'I want to see you right away'. End result I have a cyst the size of a small football and growing. Immediate concern is ovarian cancer, and we will not know until we remove the cyst. On to see the gynaecologist who stems the fear a lot by saying he is fairly certain the cyst is benign...whew! Now we just need to get it out. Thus the surgery. The surgery may result in a complete hysterectomy, but they won't know exactly what they are dealing with until they start...so that is the long and short of things. The details...but what about the emotion of it all...

Well let me tell you the two weeks between seeing my doctor, getting the CT scan and going back to my doctor was hell. I went through every emotion imaginable. An overwhelming fear crept in...what if I was going to die? It seems melodramatic now but at the time the fear was real, palpable, and paralyzing; I have three beautiful girls I need to see them grow up, I need to be there for them. I have a loving husband, I need to love him for a long time. I need to be with him to raise our children, I can't leave him alone to do that. Over those two weeks, I would sing the girls to sleep fighting back the tears. I would then sit in my dark bedroom for a moment to gather myself before returning to my husband. I tried so hard to keep it together, but had moments of losing it, and thankfully have a husband who  handled me in a kind loving way. No one talks about that time in a diagnosis. Nobody talks about when you don't know anything, but fear everything. No one addresses that, but it is real, it is valid and it happens. Whether the prognosis ends up being positive as in my case or not, there is still that period of time when you don't know and have to process the best and the worst case scenario. I'm here to acknowledge that, and to let anyone else who goes into that space know they aren't alone, they aren't overreacting, and they aren't being melodramatic. These are real and justified feelings.

Okay...so now to the present where things are good. I had a little set back a few weeks ago when I was afraid the cyst had ruptured and spent the afternoon in hospital. An unrelated infection it would seem. All looked after now. Pain has surfaced and that has kept me sidelined for a while, but seems to be managable now, so I can return to light exercise...thank goodness. The weight has been creeping back on and that is the last thing I want going into surgery where I will be recovering for a few weeks with no serious exercise. So the next three weeks will be spent getting back on track, being as healthy as can be so that I can minimize my recovery time.

Moments of fear for the worst still surface now and again, but I trust my doctors when they say things look good. I feel good, I feel positive, and am thankful for a loving and supportive husband, family and friends.

Wishing each of you health and happiness!

23 February 2012

Oh Hey!

Hey all...

I am still unplugged sort of, taking some time away to be in the real world, but I've been popping in now and again to see what's up.

I will try to get you some photo's of the laundry room as it is pretty much complete (and it looks fabulous!), but have been waiting for the bathroom to be done. I have not been well and am struggling to complete it. Fingers crossed I can check it off the list soon.
The date for surgery has been handed down and it will be the end of March. So until then I will be laying low, taking it easy and things here will probably be sporadic. The blog will probably come to life again during recovery as I will be bored out of my gourd having to sit still. I promise in a future post to share the whole story behind all this, but for right now I am focusing on family and business.

In unplugging I have fallen head over heels into a new book. The author Cathy Kelley weaves a wonderful tale in the book Just Between Us about the trials and tribulations faced by one family, and the struggles to face their realities individually and as a family.


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I have also been spending a little bit of time cleaning up my Pinterest boards, and making sure each of my pins correctly links to the original post/website etc. It has be laborious, but oddly calming. It has been interesting to see the common thread woven through the things I post...themes start to emerge and these themes make some things perfectly clear. I love Pinterest for this very reason.


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Happy Wednesday all! See ya round!

17 February 2012

Still unplugged...for the most part

I am enjoying my time away, but thought I'd pop in to say hi, and catch up on a few of my fav blogs....and poke my head into pinterest as well.

Hope you are enjoying your week...wishing you a happy weekend and encouraging you to unplug and activate.
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Oh and my laundry room and bathroom reveal will hopefully be along next week...I am so happy to share the afters...it has taken long enough.

Cheers, and Happy Family Day (Monday) to my fellow Ontarians!


13 February 2012

Bored and in need of a break...

Do you every get bored of the internet?

I have... and so I am taking a little sabatical. There is lots going on in my world right now that needs my attention, and so I will be off the grid for a bit...I don't know how long...could be a couple of hours...couple of days, or a couple of weeks...hopefully when I pop back up you will all take a peek. In the meantime I will leave you with a couple of my favorite pins from the last week.


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Have a great week...and Happy Valentines All!

8 February 2012

Happy Wednesday!

Wow..time flies and here we are at Wednesday again.

It is a good one out there in Blogland people! Full of colour, design inspirations, and art.
If you haven't already check out these posts;

Check out the stunningly delicate work of artist Diem Chau over at Designwali here's a peek, but head over to see more of this beautiful work.

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Jen over at Rambling Renovators once again manages to inspire with a great shot of the bathroom...the door is amazing...go look!

Elizabeth over at Mustard Ceiling had her husband Alfred post today about their kitchen remodel. A small change here has made a big difference.

Shannon Fricke has some wonderful inspirations for using colour in the home...wish I was so brave...I chicken out every time...fingers crossed I carry through with the turquoise in the powder room.

It is Surf's Up with Kerri at Driftwood Interiors as her husband has added to his collection of surf boards and her daughter is coveting a new one as well...I think they are perfect decor pieces, fun and funky.

Finally head over and see why Sue at The Zhush is inspired by Swedish design...who wouldn't be?

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Hope you've enjoyed your Wednesday in blogland as much as I have.

Happy Wednesday all!

7 February 2012

Reflecting...

I have spent a lot of time reflecting of late.
I am working my way through  a bit of a health issue that has had me in knots for the last few weeks, and wondering what the future will hold and am I prepared for it.

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An appointment with the doctor yesterday allayed some fears but surgery is in the near future and so I continue to plan out the best pathway to maintaining a business and a home through that. I am lucky though, I have a wonderful husband who has been an amazing source of support. My mom is my little angel and so I know all things on the homefront will be well under control. The business will fall to my husband and while I know it will be fine, I feel bad that it will all be on his shoulders for a short while as I recover. I also have an amazing friend who let me offload onto her this weekend, and I am grateful for her loving support now and always.
As I plugged back into blogland this morning I found it interesting that I was not the only one out there reflecting. Shannon at 8foot6 posted a beautiful self portrait and questioned if we need a plan to grow up and be successful. Jen at Rambling Renovators is reflecting on parenting as it is becoming apparent that her daughter may be 'gifted'. She feels ill equipped as a parent sometimes, and was wondering what if anything she should do to help her little one along?

Infinity Rings (69) by Michael Zarowsky- new to the gallery (as in today!)
 With Spring around the corner (hopefully) it seems natural to be thinking of life, growth and moving forward...What have you been reflecting about recently?

3 February 2012

Late to the game...

I might be late to the game here, but I just read the January issue of House and Home (thanks BlogPodium for the copy!) and just have to say WOW! to Tommy Smythe's spread.


House and Home
 We all know and love Tommy as Sarah Richardson's sidekick, but not often do we see Tommy's own design work.  In the January issue he is front and centre with a stellar Victorian Makeover. If you don't have or can't find a copy of the magazine, check out the House and Home website for the photo gallery.

The kitchen above with it's three tone cabinets, and wonderful pops of red (look at that lantern!) is perfect for the home and the family living in it. Do I need to say anything about that floor...OMG!

While I am not a fan of it all, the zig zags on the walls in the bathroom are bit out there for me, much of the rest of the house is a study in tastefully bold as far as I am concerned.

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What do you think? Should we be seeing more of Tommy's work, or he destined to be Sarah's right hand man?

2 February 2012

The art of buying art...

I am a gallerist...I own an art gallery, a bricks and mortar art gallery in Muskoka. I love what I do, I love my gallery and the artists I represent and my clients. Recently I have been a party to a couple of discussions surrounding original art from different perspectives, one from the perspective of the artist seeking representation and another from the perspective of the client. I want to address the client end of things here, but if you are an artist interested in learning how to best approach a gallery, feel free to email me, or comment below.

The client end of things was spurred by a post on the marion house book, where Emma was introducing her readers to Art Bomb an online daily art auction site, you can read her post here.  In her post Emma spoke with an artist who is selling his work through this site. Francisco Gomez had this to say "As an artist he realizes that buying art from a gallery setting can be an intimidating experience".  This single comment is the reason for this post.


Borrowed Book and One Orange by Laurie Wonfor Nolan

I am not an artist. I am a designer with what I like to think of as a good eye. My husband and I spend a lot of time and effort curating a solid cohesive collection of work that we know will appeal to our clientele and in so doing be saleable and benefit the artists we represent. Above and beyond that, our role is to facilitate the purchase of art. Sometimes that means discussing at length an artist his background or her inspiration for the work. Sometimes it means sitting back and letting the client come to terms with a piece, being available, but essentially leaving them alone. And then there are times that my role is to make the client feel comfortable in the gallery with the art, and how they feel about it. I am sure you have heard it many times before, but art is subjective. It has no boundaries but only those that are held in the eye of the beholder, be it the creator or the viewer. Art is meant to evoke a reaction, visceral sometimes, emotional at others. It can make one feel alive, frenetic, or calm and serene. What piece evokes these feelings in one may not in another. Some artists will say to me 'tell me what sells and I'll paint it', I repeatedly tell them it does not work that way. An original work of art needs to be a piece of the artists soul.

Red House Glimmer of Sun by Kate Grigg
There are many different kinds of art buyers. Some will walk into the gallery and react to a painting and buy it on the spot, others will react, but need to let it simmer. Often they will walk away and return several times before they decide to purchase. Some walk away and if they cannot stop thinking about a piece they will be back to purchase. Sometimes this can be within hours or days, other times it is months. Then there are people that buy art for it's value, as an investment, for them it is about the artist and the probability of their work rising in value. Yet there are others who are buying art to match a room, a particular colour scheme, shape, shape, size or style.

Endurance by Scott McKay of Strongarm Forge

There is no right or wrong way to view, to feel or to buy art. It is always my recommendation that one buy original art where their budget will allow, but not all budgets allow.

My point in all of this is to say that if a client feels intimidated by an art gallery they are not in the right gallery. The same is true for the artist, if you are being represented by a gallery that you feel is intimidating to the client, then you are not in the right place. 


Farmland I by Michael Scott

It is my hope that no one ever feels intimidated in my space, to me when you walk in my doors you are walking into my living room.

How and where do you buy art? Do you like the comfort of your home and buy online, or are you as affected by the texture and presence of a piece and prefer to see it in person before you buy?

1 February 2012

Happy Wednesday!

So it is mid week, and once again I thought I'd share where I visited and commented in blogland today!

First up we have the baby bump update from Janice over at Life Begins at Thirty Right? And in case you missed it earlier in the week Janice shared some super exciting news (second to her pregnancy)...go here to read all about it and be as excitedly jealous as I am.

Christine over at An Eclectic Life is having a design dilemma as she compares her current gallery wall to this one:
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Pop on over and weigh in with your opinion...I'm sure she'll appreciate the feedback.

Erin at His & Hers never fails to make me smile...and quite often laugh out loud. If you have not checked out her blog, you should! Today she and her hubby created a corny vlog as a precursor to their next home improvement project...do you think you know what they are eluding to?

Lisa Roy of a designer obsessed... is celebrating her 2 Year Blogiversary! YAY! Congrats Lisa!

Any Beach Cottage girls out there? Poor Mrs. BC was bitten by a spider and the sweet Mr. BC posted for her...she is resting and we hope she gets better soon...but her Good Life Wednesdays linky party is still in full swing!

So there you have it, my virtual vacation for the morning...guess I ought to get back to work...good thing I'm my own boss!

Happy Wednesday all...been anywhere interesting today?