This weekend, come visit me!

It's finally time to get my show legs back on. Yep, it's been a long while, but I have my first show of the year coming up this Saturday - the Etsy: Made in Canada show (check it out here), right here in Toronto at the historic MaRS Centre Atrium.

Now, if you've been following me for awhile you know that I'm also one of the organizers of this event, which means I'm extra excited. It's definitely been a beast of an event to pull together, but I'm lucky to work with 8 other amazing women between the Toronto Etsy Street Team and our partners for this venture the 416Hustler team. We've been working our asses off to make this second year even more kickass than last years - because if you were there last year you know how insane it was.

We've got more space this year, yes MORE space. We're pretty much taking over the entire ground floor of the MaRS building.  140 vendors including vintage sellers. 8 fantastic free workshops. 100 unreal swag bags are being handed out to the first 100 through the doors at 10am (last year the lineup started around 7am, if you're keen you need to be really keen to get in on these bags!)

As for things thunderpeep... I've still got some copies of my book What Hides in the Forest as well as the usuals, loads more prints and a new notepad featuring Kaippo from the book. I'll have the new Holiday cards and this will be your first chance to get your hands on my 2016 calendar. I'm SUPER excited about it. It's in line with the new direction of my work, so it's a whole lot of new!

This years calendar isn't going to be a flip calendar, it's a very large full year calendar. And did I mention yet it's awesome? It introduces a new collection of prints I'll be launching throughout 2016. Limited edition works all based on original Fairy Tales (well no one knows where the original versions truly come from but these are some of my favourite Grimms/Anderson/Asbjornse/Moe stories) Basically not the Disneyfied ones. Nope. The collection is called Good vs. Evil - and it's going to depict just that. The good vs evil battle in all fairy tales. The first piece will be featured on the calendar and it's based on the Snow White story. If you haven't read the Grimm's version you really should. It's quite creepy. My artwork, not so creepy, but that's ok. I love creepy things, but just can't draw creepy. It's quite tragic really.

I just approved the design today so I don't have a photo of the finished piece, but be sure to follow me on Instagram to get the first peak at it (or just come down to the show and buy yourself one) and oh yeah, I may not have mentioned, this calendar is a commitment piece. It's 13" x 19" and is set to be printed on a heavy 130lb card stock. Yeah, fancy. Starting to see why I'm so excited. Limited Edition. You'll want one. And you'll want to collect them all! I'll do another post on that after I get myself through this weekend.


Things I Can't Do

Yeah, you read that correctly. But don't be sad for me.

I actually kind of (totally) stole this post idea from the fabulous Wonder Forest who posted her list of can't do's on her blog (read hers here) and I loved this idea.

Wow, why do I keep borrowing blog post ideas!

So many times we focus maybe too much on how great others are at things and feel bad that maybe we aren't as good at those things. Everyone has their strengths AND their weaknesses. All of us do. So I love the idea of sharing, and embracing all the things we don't rock at!

I can't throw a ball (or anything for that matter). It's seriously embarrassing. It's like my hand just forgets to let go and whatever is in my hand just falls in front of me. I can kick really well, I can bat really well, I can catch really well, there's just something about throwing that doesn't work for me! one day I'll have to tell you some of the embarrassing stories.

I still struggle with their, they're and there. English is hard you guys. I still have to think for a second before I type one of them. I blame it on French Immersion. In fact, it's a good thing blogger has spellcheck - my spelling is really not that stellar at all. But I can speak good ;)

I can't stop annoying people from getting to me. I take peoples mean and negative attitudes too personally. And I really shouldn't. That's their (see that took me a second) shitty karma. But one stupid sarcastic comment can eat away at me and I have to try really  hard not to be a bitch back. Because I'm mean when I'm bitchy. Sometimes it comes in handy, because I'm good at putting bad people in their place, but then I feel bad about being such a bitch... and on and on it goes. But who wants to try to care less? That seems wrong.

I can't be late for anything. Now, you may think this is a good thing. But no. If I feel like I'm going to be even the slightest bit late, because of traffic or someone else or mother nature blowing in a tornado or whatever the reasons beyond my control, I will get extreme anxiety. And anxiety is not fun. For me or for anyone else involved. As an adventurous traveller, this can make for stressful times. But the good thing is, I don't let it run my life. I just take a shot and keep going ;)

I can't cry. Ok, let me clarify. I can cry if I get overwhelmed or really really happy. But I can't sad cry. This is a tough one to admit. It freaks people out. I don't do sadness. Like not really at all. As someone who has struggled with depression, this might seem odd, but nope. People all around me might be sad crying and I just get really uncomfortable. I just can't do the sadness thing. But I'm really good one on one with a crying friend, probably because I'm not a weepy person I have the ability to talk people down. With the exception of one unfortunate broken heart, I've just never been a cryer (drunk crying doesn't count you guys)

There are many more things I can't do, but that's enough sharing for today. It's your turn. What can't you guys do?


#FaceForward - 5 Lessons for future me

I saw this quote on a blog I follow (and apologize - I can't remember which one) and it really resonated with my state of being these days, but would future me still need to be reminded?

My friend Katherine, over at Simple Smiles & Co recently posted this great article inspired by a global conversation started by the folks at Clinique. Basically it's a challenge to encourage our future selves by asking "what advice would you give yourself in 3 years". What a loaded question. Especially where I am at this particular moment in time.

But I'm going to play along, because I love this idea.

1. Look Back, often.
Most people would think this is crazy. 'Don't Look Back, look forward' is a motto for most inspirational whatevers, but I actually love to look back, and remember why I am where I am. Remembering the hard times, the good times, the learning times. Reflection is a great motivator for moving forward in life. I look back at this past year, and it's been a tough year, but I am such a different person from where I started. Sure I'm still a bit lost, but I'm SO MUCH happier knowing that because I took the time to dig down deep, I'm figuring out where I really want to be.

2. Remember that not everyone's opinion matters
This took me awhile to learn. Everyone's got an opinion. Especially an opinion on others peoples lives. But the people who know and care about you most, the ones who have YOUR best interest at heart. Those are the people, the only people, who's opinions you should listen to. The rest can go talk themselves into tomorrow!

3. Let your fear guide you, sometimes.
This is my favourite, but I'm sure I won't need to remind myself of it. (but I'm still going to list it) I'm never one to play it safe. The biggest rewards usually come from the biggest battles. If something scares you, it's probably because you know you should do it, but practicality is telling you otherwise. Unless it's like a big bug, or snakes or anything creepy crawly, you can fear them. Like this guy.

4. Be Happy. It's really Easy.
I've started this recently. When I find myself surrounded by negative folks and people are just being downright rude and gross I find myself getting sucked into their mad mojo. And whyyyyyyy? People are not going to change but I sure can change my reaction. Now, this is common advice that everyone likes to give but really, it's kind of awkward. Because when you're being really negative and I don't want it to get to me, i ignore you. And some people think that's rude (sigh). But now I have pretty much stopped worrying about it and have been much more at peace (and I also don't take the subway anymore, streetcar folk are much more happy and even when their weirdos I can just stare out the window!!!)

5. Eat something bad for you.
;) no really. Whatever it is that is your guilty pleasure, sometimes you just need to indulge. Life is too short not to. I switched to drinking tea over coffee less than a year ago and I feel so much better (I've really only been drinking coffee since I turned 30 but it makes me CRAZY and I just want more and more and more). But sometimes, especially when I'm meeting up for weekend chats with a friend, I treat myself to a latte. Especially fancy ones at local shops, they are always the absolute yummiest (if in Toronto you have to try one of Red Rocket lattes with special shots... oh man)

Red Rocket treats with Katie from Hearts Haven. We both got the Roasted Marshmallow shot. OMG yes!
What are the 5 Lessons you would want to pass on to future you?


No one said being Adult was going to be easy

This post was started a few weeks ago and has just sat there. Literally with one first sentence (which is now gone). Taunting me to say more. But like everything else I do, this updated needed time to brew. Letting people into your personal space is kind of an uncomfortable feeling for me still. But that's kind of all about to change. In a very big way.

Grandma somewhere in California (not positive)
and yes she most likely made that dress herself!
I'm a wanderer. It runs in my family. My grandma was a a wanderer and beautiful soul. When I was really little my friends often referred to her as Mother Nature. She was a really cool woman who I wish I could have spent time with now, as a partial grownup. I don't own a house. I am not married. I don't have kids. To be honest I don't want any of those things. I don't want to be tied to one place, I want to live it all the cool places. I love being Canadian and all the opportunity it has given me. But we live on an enormous planet. Why would anyone not want to explore it ALL. Ok, even I don't want to see it all (you know all those really hot places with big bugs are not on my list of must-see places) I don't want to do the same jobs for my whole adulthood. I've had some incredibly sweet gigs and loved (almost) all of them. But I still have a long list of things I want to do. But living in chaos is also something I don't want to do. Time to make some decisions already.

So, what the hell does that mean? You guys have patiently come along this ride of re-branding and now it's all coming to a head. That's what it means. I need to get out and explore and share and experience, I absolutely can't sit still anymore.

I'm back in trip planning mode. 1.5 years to plan, save and strategize.

Wait, what?

A trip. Where to?

My instagram followers may have noticed this recent post linking to a new social media identity. That's where you can follow all the trip details as they unfold (please excuse my one photo there - I put that up so my friends would know it was me when I followed them). And even come along with me when I set out in 2017 (yeah, it takes a long time to plan and save to take a big chunk of a year off and wander) There's also a new blog so I can keep business and personal a bit more separate. It's still a work in progress but it's coming together pretty quickly so you should head over and start follow it here

Thunderpeep is already starting to fold into a more personal creative business, which you'll get a taste of as they roll out over the fall/winter. I'm super psyched about this years calendar. It's pretty grand! More books are also coming next year. And I'm SO FREAKING HAPPY. The adventures of Mina and Runa and the Trolls will continue in 2016. Best thing I ever did in this life was take a step away and follow up on that dream of writing my first fairy tale. Over this past year there have been a lot of confused looks when I talk about where I'm at and what I'm doing. Some good, some well kind of sad. So many people are just too stuck or afraid to really follow through on a dream or passion. If my journey can help even one person break the chains of societal pressures I'm happy. If there's a will, there's always a way. Always. You just have to put yourself out there and be ready to get knocked down a couple (or lot's) of times.

So much happy goodness.

Now, let's all go live happily ever after :)

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