Posts Tagged 'Georgian Bay'

Digging Deep.

I’ve been undergoing a bit of a transformation lately.  And what I’ve learned is this: change is messy.  In that line between the before and after photo, therein lives chaos.

So, like seemingly everyone else around me, I’ve become mildly obsessed with (or possessed by) Marie Kondo and her book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.

I admit it.  I’ll see those picture-perfect homes online, with their styled bookshelves and immaculately made beds, and I’ll want to move in.  I have a vision for the kind of life I want to live and, for awhile there, I’d sit at my desk and not see anything remotely like it.

I used to think open shelving would be perfect in my studio.  I’d create all these lovely little tableaus and everything would be carefully considered and artfully styled just so.  But it didn’t turn out that way.  My beautiful open shelves were quickly overwhelmed with sloppy stacks of books and unread magazines and ugly plastic bins overflowing with paper, bursting and poking out all over the edges.  While I create things to be seen and experienced, the birthplace of those things isn’t always pretty.  Nor does it have to be.  My sweet home-based studio is supposed to be a safe space for creative chaos and I’ve since learned that sometimes the process is better left behind closed doors (read: buy cabinets!).

After enduring weeks of total mayhem (trudging through the tediousness of unearthing and discarding all the joyless things I’d hoarded, while simultaneously berating myself for letting this happen and hating Marie Kondo for inciting this awesome-slash-terrible disaster of a process), I’ve since discovered peace.  Now I love my office space.  I wake up earlier, I’m back to writing daily and I’d even been able to make a few collages again — something I hadn’t done or even felt inspired to do in a really long time.

On that note, I’ll leave with you some photos I’d recently rediscovered from a writing retreat I went to a few years back.  I’ve always wanted to recreate the quiet magic I’d felt on that trip here at home and now I think I just might be able to.









The sun & the moon over Georgian Bay on one glorious summer day.


Summer is my favourite time of year.   I love the hot weather and endless sunshine.  Swimming in lakes & oceans & rivers.  The grit of sand between my toes.

But as a wedding photographer in Canada, summer also means working.  A lot.

Last year, I learned the hard way.  I worked ceaselessly from May until October and didn’t reserve even a single weekend for myself.  By the time September came, I found myself bewildered and sad, wondering: where the did my summer go???

Determined to not repeat my mistake, we booked a mid-season mini-vacation at one of my favourite summer spots on Georgian Bay.  While it wasn’t as relaxing as I’d hoped (both Husbo and I ended up working for parts of our trip), I am definitely more refreshed than I would’ve been without those few stolen days by the bay.


The return from Georgian Bay.

So I’m back!

Browned shoulders and bug bites and sand in my shoes.

The laughter was wild and the tears without shame.

I took hundreds of photos and still couldn’t capture it all.

I miss it already.


The red moon.


Synchronized hand stands.


Legs underwater.


The food the food the food the food.


Michelle‘s almond cheese magic.


The food was awesome.  Did I mention the food was awesome?  Awesome.


Laughs beside The Perfect Campfire (that Chris made, all by herself!).


Smores en route.


Singing and strumming.


Friends forever.


Beautiful spirits, standing in a line: Anila & Sarah & Danette & Michelle & Zoe & Chris (& me!).

A return to Georgian Bay.

I know I haven’t been an A+ blogger lately.

I’m going to say that all this heat has baked my brain but, really, the truth is that I don’t have air conditioning in my office.  Though I guess that’s kinda the same.  Two sides of the same coin kinda bag.  No matter, I’m sticking with it.

Sitting in one’s east-facing office, without any kind of cooling mechanism to speak of, in front of a heat-generating computer, with all of your hot-as-heck hard drives blowing heat in your already blotchy and red face isn’t fun, let me tell you.

So, I’m packing up and heading north.  But just for a few days.

It’s unintentionally become a sorta annual thing.  It’s a silent writing retreat on Georgian Bay, facilitated by the amazing and awesome Chris Kay Fraser.  I’ve been every summer for the last two, making this trip my third.

Basically, your days are like this.  You wake up, do whatever you want, hopefully manage to wrestle some words on a page / laptop / napkin-if-you’re-desperate and, when the time of silence is nearing to a close (which officially happens at 3pm) the scent of freshly-baked cookies will come wafting on a breeze.  At 3, Chris will ring a brass bell on the cottage porch where everyone will gather and share their day so far.  Then there’s dinner and some group writing-workshop-y stuff in the evening and then bed.  It’s all very relaxed, peaceful, supportive and all-around wonderfulness.  Oh and did I mention there’s a canoe?

Anyway, it’s a little gift that I give myself and hopefully it will yield some stories for me to share with you one day.

In the meantime, here’s a little ditty of a slideshow that I made from the first time I went, in 2009.  And here’s the itty bitty blog post from when I returned last year.

Wish I could tell you what to expect when I come back but, like it’s been for the last two years, even I will be surprised.


Georgian Bay.  June, 2010.

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