Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Tapping the source

Recently an early tobacco card of a Red Breasted Woodpecker caught my eye.
I was captivated by both the painters composition and use of color. I now have the complete set of 30 antique Imperial Tobacco cards (circa 1900). They celebrate illustration in ways that are reminiscent of the past. As an artist I cherish this sensitivity. As a designer I try to bring these ideas into the present.

The Woodpecker is a potent symbol for me, it conjures up the idea of tapping the new energy of Spring. Though it's not always visable to the naked eye, life is emerging everywhere. In fact prior to Easter my girlfriend saw one of these birds in her backyard, here is a photo . William and I love birdwatching, as of late we have had some wonderful experiences. In our garden we have a bird bath. It is the local water pub for the small birds to drink, bathe and have fun in everyday. It's presence is a great addition to our garden. I look forward to those moments again. If you love birds here is a great site
for information.

The last several weeks have been tough as I came down with a debilitating cold. It has been two years since my last cold, it also was around this time of year. At first I didn't slow down and created a fun set of Flower power corduroy patio cushions.

Then I lost my voice. For three days I was silent and drained. I had some body nurturing to do. Rest gave me a moment to regain my strength and ponder my inner self. I had extra time to observe life around me and to reflect upon some trying relationships within my own life. We all carry patterns that at times haunt us.

My break from routine allowed me to examine a life long pattern of questioning my acceptance by others. Our relations with other people are built on believing people understand and love us for who we are. We are fortunate that we get to select our friends, but we do not get to choose everybody in our life. Some people are chosen for us. They are the ones that push our buttons and test our self worth. Their acceptance, or lack thereof , can create comfort or conflict within us. It is the latter that has offered me more insight lately.
I have come to accept that not all people can
celebrate who I am.
We are all on our own journey of self approval and we are all at different stages. To acknowledge this is to release one from the self doubt that resides from our perceived thoughts of others towards us. I believe now that the things people see in others which they have not yet attained for themselves, can create barriers for deeper relationships to grow. By acknowledging this, I can let go of my struggle and tap into my source. I will accept these relationships where they stand, without expecting the emotional change to happen. I know this will bring me a greater peace with these people in my life. Letting go can lead to a new beginning. That is one thing the Spring season offers us, a fresh start!

Now what does all this have to do with HATS? Acceptance of ones appearance is the key to enjoying the most out of life and the key to enjoying the wearing of a hat. We are unable to change our birth right of looks. Our genetics have been given to us without choice. It is only when I accept my face in the mirror am I able to celebrate it. There are many people that visit our shop and say they are not Hat people. I understand deeper what that comment means.

We were gifted last Thursday, to see the Stars on Ice by my brother Jeff and his family. It was an exciting evening out at the Air Canada center. Kurt Browning was a sight to behold. His ability on and off the ice reveals the exceptional talent this individual has. Every performance on the ice was breath taking. I hope one day he visits us at Gwendolyne Hats as he would look amazing in our Tibetan design. Now having seen his live performances that evening, I have officially become another a Kurt Browning fan!

My cold is on its last legs and I am very grateful for the lessons this journey opened me up to. All is well, and I am once again busy creating some new hats for wonderful people.
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Quote for the day

"When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece."
John Ruskin (1819 - 1900)
English art critic.