One year

September 10, 2012 Comments off


Over a year has passed since my last post and the thing that has motivated me to blog again is a change I might make a year from now.

I’ve looked at Capilano Universitie’s Textile Arts programs several times over the years since I’ve been back in the working world full time. Each time I just feel I’m not ready to do the student life again.

But this last week has me looking at it again for a bunch of reasons. It feels like the timing might be right or it might be in 12 months.

So in the next week or so I will be building a list of 10 potential portfolio items to work on between now and the portfolio deadline in April 2013. They can be of any media but need too represent my point of view. They also get discussed at in-person interviews the following month.

That’s my plan at least.

Categories: Admin, Portfolio

How I feel acupuncture

June 3, 2011 Comments off

I haven’t talked to many people in detail about how acupuncture feels so I’m not sure if the feelings are uniquely mine, or pretty universal. Either way, here’s my experience of it.

The needles going in. They start on the head, then down one side of the body and up the other. Each needle goes in quickly. Some I barely feel, others leave a pinching sensation for a few minutes.

Certain points will be located by some light finger pressure, and sometimes I’ll feel the needle move slightly once it’s in. It never really feels like an actual needle prick though.

Sometimes, when they are trying to get some quick results (like soothe a headache) They will apply pressure to several spots and ask me to say when it’s tender as well. When I feel tenderness a needle goes in that spot. I don’t always feel complete relief instantly, but usually feel some relief pretty quickly.

Then they make sure you’re comfortable, offer you a blanket and leave you to relax. I close my eyes and try to focus on the soft music playing, until I fall asleep. I’d say I fall asleep about half the time. If I feel sensations from any of the needle points, or pain points, I focus on them. I breathe into them and try to breathe them back out.

I feel my sessions that have the most impact when I get this pulsing feeling happening. It’s like I can feel the blood flowing through me in a very circular way. Sometimes it’s a full body feeling, and other times is concentrated on one side of my body, or one area. It could definitely be described as feeling the energy moving and activated.

Eventually, when I’m ready, the needles come out with a minimum of feeling. Afterwards the feelings range from tired, to energetic, to other-worldly. I always feel good and relaxed though.

So there’s my raves for acupuncture. I love it and will probably go once or twice a month even when I’m symptom-free just because it makes me feel good.

Categories: Admin

I Love Acupuncture

June 1, 2011 1 comment
Poke Community Acupuncture

Poke (borrowed from their facebook page)

If you’ve had a conversation with me of more than 10 minutes in the last 4 months you probably know that I have been getting acupuncture treatments and am a total convert.

I have gone from having stress related pain that interfered with all aspects of my life (work, knitting, sleeping) on a daily basis to having week long stretches that are completely free of pain. I have gone into a treatment with a major headache and left feeling amazing.

Today only,  the clinic I go to, Poke Community Acupuncture, is offering a great price for 2 treatments on Ethical Deal.

If you have any issues with pain, be it chronic or acute, this is a great thing to try. The pricing is even better than their normally low rates and they are an amazing bunch of people who have added so much to my life over the last few months.

Poke is a bit different from your standard acupuncture clinic though.  They operate on a model of community acupuncture which strives to make acupuncture more accessible than it tends to be.

For acupuncture to be it’s most successful most people need frequent treatments at the beginning. Typical acupuncture treatments in Vancouver are $60-$100 (based on my personal research).  I was initially recommended 3 treatments a week for best results, with the goal being no treatments at all, or treatments when I felt I wanted one. In these typical sessions I would be in a room on my own for 45 minutes to an hour, with about 10 to 20 minutes of the actual acupuncturists time.

(Side note, that I am fortunate to have a decent extended medical plan at work that covers acupuncture. However it covers a maximum of $100 in treatments per calendar year – not totally useful)

At Poke it’s quite different in many ways. They have a one-time paperwork fee of $10 at your first appointment. You’ll have about 8 pages of information, waivers and questions to read and complete. Each treatment is $20-$40, depending on what you can afford.

You complete your own receipt at each visit, put it and your payment in a box before entering the treatment room. You also sign yourself up for your own appointment times. They is a volunteer there to help if you have questions, but it’s more or less self serve.

Once you’re in the treatment room you will pick one of 8 comfy reclining chairs. There may be other people in the other chairs, eye closed, and very relaxed. When the acupuncturist is free (I’ve never waited more than 5 or 10 minutes, an usually it’s because I’m early) she comes over to you, does a whisper quiet consultation, inserts needles in a combination of your head, arms, legs. You stay fully clothed, but often have to roll you pant legs up over your knees, take off your socks, or roll your sleeves up past your elbows.

I know it sounds weird to share a room with other people getting their treatments but in reality it’s never been awkward.  I’ve never been able to overhear details of my neighbours consults and I get so relaxed during my treatments that I often fall asleep and rarely take notice of it.

The noise in the space is footsteps, muffled whispering, chair rolling, treatment chair movements, soothing music, paper rustling, white noise machine, door opening. Really pretty limited.

So now, you’ve got about 20 needles in your lead and limbs, you’re lying back with your feet up, you might have a blanket over you (I do) and your eyes are closed. You basically sit there and relax until you feel ready to go. They recommend a minimum of 30 minutes, and it feels like an hour is average. I know I’ve spent 2 hours there a few times.

When you feel “ready” you sit up, make eye contact with the acupuncturist, they take out the needles and you’re free to go. I usually sit up for a bit, stretch my arms and leave about 5 minutes later. If you need to be out by a certain time you can let them know at the beginning and they will tell you when it’s that time.

I have seen people stay sitting up, or reading if their arms are needle free. You are really encouraged to be at your most comfortable while respecting the group space.

Now this is super long, and I haven’t even got into how it feels. Tomorrow.

Categories: Wellness

Circle of Deer

May 27, 2011 Comments off

I’ve been trying my best to do all the challenges for the Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild. It has so far been a great way to learn new techniques and experiment with fabric and blocks.


Starting Point

Our most recent challenge was to make a circle of flying geese block, and turn it into any kind of project we liked. I had never done paper piecing before so I decided to make tit even harder on myself and do some fussy cuts for the “geese”.

I used some teal linen from a fabric store in Surrey as the background, and lovely deer fabric from Spool of Thread (yes, I shop there a lot). I threw in a triangle of a pink from Kona.

Completed Block

Completed Block

I haven’t made anything out of it yet. I think I might make it into a sewing machine cover, but am not 100% sure. I’ll definitely add more of the pink fabric and more deer though.

Categories: Quilting

WIP: Clapotis

May 25, 2011 Comments off

I may be one of the last knitters in the world to start a clapotis but I finally did and am really enjoying the knit so far.


Dropped Stitches

I am doing a modified size (only 5 increase/drcrease sections, and planning on only 5 straight sections) because I am using a single skein of Blue Moon Fibre Arts Socks that Rock Lightweight (colourway: ratia) that I bought in Toronto last summer at Lettuce Knit.

I tend to buy a lot of single skeins of sock and lace yarns, usually overcome by their colour and softness. However, I don’t wear socks so I tend not to knit many and am constantly on the hunt for fun projects for these lovely single skeins.


close up

I’m expecting the end product to be a nice springtime shawlette that will button up around my neck. Probably a fancy button. I feel like the yarn deserves it.

Categories: Knitting

Piece to Peace Quilt Show

May 21, 2011 2 comments

This past weekend I spent several hours wandering through a maze of quilts at the annual show of the Fraser Valley Quilters’ Guild with Amy.

I had my brand new camera with me, took over 200 pictures and probably should have taken a water break during that time. I almost bought some amazing fabrics from Passionate Dyes, but didn’t have a project in mind so I resisted. I’ll have to at some point though.

Here’s a selection of some of the quilts that really stood out to me. I’ve credited the quilter along with the title, but full details can be found on my flickr set.

Lightening Strikes by Debra Sanderson

Lightening Strikes by Debra Sanderson

Bargellos were some of the first quilts that made me say “oh my, do I want to do that”. I still haven’t even tried the technique but this variation definitely renews the inspiration.

Oceanview by Lois Haasjes

Oceanview by Lois Haasjes

I’m going through a phase where I love landscapes. This beach scene pulls at me in a very personal way and the real feather is a lovely touch.

Be Aglow with the Spirit by Elaine Kethler

Be Aglow with the Spirit by Elaine Kethler

I am constantly thinking about this pattern in other colour palettes, Black and teals or fuchsia are the most frequent. This could be my first on-point project.

from Garden Row Quilt by Marilyn Smith

from Garden Row Quilt by Marilyn Smith

This was one of many cool element in a larger Garden quilt. I want to make a whole quilts of these adorable birds. There was also an awesome paper-pieced tomato block I’d love to track down.

Unknown (oops!)

Unknown (oops!)

I love the twist on a classic HST value quilt. (Is there a proper name for this?) I forgot to take a picture of the description so if you know who made this I’d love to add their name.

It was a very good show and I have a bunch of new ideas.

Categories: Events, Quilting