The Mosaic Class

The mosaics were as different as the lives of the women who sat in the studio: a variety of colours and patterns, diverse ways of laying the tiles, and mixed shapes and sizes of tiles. As unique as they all were, there were two things that remained constant; the piece had evolved as it was created and the woman had also.

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Art is a process. Rarely does the artist create exactly what they originally set out to create. The art itself, as it is forming, sparks new ideas and suggests new directions. The artist’s vision shifts and there is a dance between the piece and the artist, both taking turns leading each other.

The journey from starting the piece to finishing transforms the artist. Her hands act as a conduit between her mind’s eye and the tangible. She is changed a little bit by the placement of each tile: her heart strings are strummed, her patience and concentration are challenged, and her grip on control is necessarily loosened. To create art, she has to let go, and in letting go, she is altered.

Each one of the women presented their piece to the group. She did so with both shyness and delight. The others couldn’t help but see into each artist’s mind and the artist knew it. It was thrilling to be so raw and yet difficult to be so vulnerable. A group of strangers connecting in a profound way and altered by the exchange.

What if it was right in front of you?

I am a fan of a few people doing some cool stuff out in the world. Sometimes what they share or create makes me hit reply to one of their emails. I might even go out of my way to find their contact information, and send them a note of thanks for bringing their unique viewpoint to the world. No pitch, no ask on my part...just a genuine note of thanks for being who they are.


Sometimes I get a note of thanks back and sometimes I don’t. Here are a few people who wrote back recently - Jonathan Fields, Alexandra Franzen, and Dan Blank.

Of course there were people who didn’t write back. I had no expectation that they should...but here is what I am learning: I feel differently about the people who wrote back. 

I feel connected to them and their message even more deeply. I feel like they are real people not just platforms. I believe their marketing as honest communication between two human beings not just a mouthpiece blasting out to a faceless audience.

And I want to follow them even more and further support the work they are doing in the world. I want to tell other people about them. (I included them in this blog you could check them out too.)

I am learning about better marketing from their examples. Marketing is about relationships. It might seem time consuming and trivial to reply back to an email sent your way...especially if you get thousands.

But why are you marketing? Aren’t you trying to engage your audience and make them into raving fans? Aren’t you trying to connect to your audience and truly hear from them? And even if you have thousands of fans, don’t you want them to stick around?

Sometimes the best form of marketing is already right in front of you: the fans you already have.  

The Circle Completes - Fall

I pull on my jacket and step outside. It is brisk out this morning and the sun has not fully risen over the cool horizon. The smell of spice and pungency penetrate my nose and I think about the last days of summer and nature drawing her curtain on that production. Leaves fall at my feet and I watch them scuttle to the fence bottoms when the wind comes to play.


The days start so much cooler now with a crispness that reminds me winter is on the way. I need my jacket until afternoon comes but then summer returns for a few short hours and I bask in her glow and reminisce with her.

Fall and spring are the bridges between such stark contrasts: the desolation and pause of winter, and the vibrancy and productivity of summer. Spring is the reminder of nature’s resilience and fall is the reminder of the necessity of death. The circle completes again and again and I am witness to it.

The birds are travelling in numbers again. This year’s offspring join in the throngs and they prepare to make the journey to somewhere else. The flowers in my garden bow their heads and drop their raised branches. They too are looking for a rest in the garden bed.

Fall is my reminder to let the seasons of my life happen as gracefully. A windy storm may blow through and threaten to uproot me but I can also release my grip on trying to control the ebbs and flows, the comings and the goings, and the abundant times and the lean times. There can be ease to this progression if I simply let it happen.

My Harvest

My tomato vines are heavy with juicy, sweet-savory, red orbs and my beets are raising their proud purple shoulders out of the earth. Even my corn silks have dried and are waving in the breeze signalling the cobs are ready for harvest. It is autumn and my garden is bursting with the fruits of a summer’s growth. It’s delicious and overwhelming, as it all comes ready for picking in the same short window.

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Our plates have been full of our own produce from the deep pungent flavour of roasted root vegetables to fresh delicate bite of green herbs. These meals nourish us with their vitamins but they also bring on a special satisfaction that comes from nurturing something of value out of bare soil.

When we began this spring, we didn’t know what our harvest would be. We could only dream about how one pound tomatoes could hang safely on our spindly young tomato shoots. But they grew, and thrived, and supported those weighty fruits; one hot summer day and one flush of rainwater, at a time.

I see myself reflected in my garden. I am working bit by bit at my bare soil: watering, giving it sun, and air. Over time my work grows stronger and fuller like the surprising abundance that comes from my garden. My work is colourful and crisp, and it’s earthy and wholesome. I am bringing forth my own gifts to the world one day at a time.