We gave you a box of our HK fabric scraps, and you made gorgeousness happen! Can you tell us what your process is and how you discovered it?
There is so much potential in those scraps, all I could see were possibilities. The concept of circular fashion at HK intrigues me, I love the idea of creating something out of seemingly nothing. Full disclosure, I love to shop, be it gorgeous clothes or from Penna, the fabulous kitchen store where I work, I love it all. However, the idea of using the HK pieces has a special excitement to it. For me it has to be of use and of course it has to be beautiful, which, may I say, is exactly what happened with this mat. After making the HK “thread” I grabbed my big fat needles and started with the intent of making a throw. The beauty of using different fabrics means different weights and different textures, leading to a completely unexpected yet wholly organic result. I love how it turned out.
Have you always been creative, or is this something you’ve recently discovered?
I think we find creativity in oh so many ways. For example, I love to play with colour, rearranging my glassybaby candles (check them out online, a brilliant company for so many reasons) or rearranging up throw pillows, it is such fun to see what a difference small changes can make in your surroundings. My mother-in-law once declared, that one day she would arrive and our piano would be on the front porch.
I often lie awake at night designing jewellery, so much to do and so many ways to be creative! A few years ago I decided I was going to make a needlepoint pillow for each of my children for Christmas. After becoming colossally frustrated I threw that idea out the window and opted for far smaller projects. The following year it was knitting, scarves and toques for all. Really, the joy that comes from creating things for those you love is where the fun is.
Do you think having a creative practice is important? What do you dream of doing next?
Yes, it is vitally important. It feeds the mind and it fuels the heart. When we lived in San Francisco I took writing classes from the most modest of poets who was a professor at Berkeley. She created a classroom setting that offered safety with absolutely no judgement, it is where I could explore a very, very secret desire to write that was exhilarating albeit terrifying. Again, it is different but the same. Discovering new ways to express yourself creatively will always and I sincerely believe this, nurture your soul. Working with HK has done just that, ideas are popping up and I have another idea for our HK yarn which I doubt would have arisen had you not asked.
I have a friend who is known as a fairy godmother in the fashion industry. She supports, among other things, women and sustainable fashion and one of her start-ups gave me an idea. I am thinking…wouldn’t it be fun to create the “Little Black HK Purse”?!?! Will keep you posted on how this transpires!
Last year you completed your yoga teacher training course. So fantastic! Was that a transformational experience for you?
Sincerely, it was the most empowering of experiences. Quite a few years ago, well before the Yoga Teacher Training Program, I decided it was time to go back to school to recharge my brain and do my MA. Thankfully my wise-beyond-her-years and oh-so-patient daughter helped me scroll through courses at UVIC to find the perfect fit. We did in the Exercise and Physical Health department and I loved nearly every moment of that degree.
More recently, I have become interested in understanding the mystery that is yoga. So, last year at fifty-three I decided it was time to dive in and learn why it was so darned good for you. I knew it was greater than the physical movements I had learned in all those church basement classes, but the connection to that eluded me.
Admittedly, YTT felt scarier than anything I had done before. Why? That million-dollar question, I don’t look like a yoga person, could I actually do this? Again, I went looking and honestly, I can not say how lucky I was in meeting the exquisite Katyanna Ryan, one of the owners of Ma Studio, in Victoria. My learning began and it continues on a daily basis with her as my teacher. Transformation? No. Evolutionary, absolutely.
What are the unexpected gifts you’ve received from yoga?
Oh my goodness, there are so many gifts. I expected the breadth of learning as I embarked on this fascinating new area of interest. Yoga Teacher Training taught me about philosophy, anatomy, and postures which were fascinating. However, the greatest gifts are in learning how to pay attention and how to listen.
Connecting within and with others are the most valuable gems Katyanna has taught, as a practitioner and as a teacher. The practice of yoga is very personal but when we practice together we are a community. And sometimes it can take a lot to just walk in that studio door. I know what it took for me but I do not know what it took for my students. We as teachers do not know what happened in our student’s day or what they are thinking or what they are carrying with them as they arrive. So smiling as your student arrives, calling them by name and perhaps remember to ask them how their back is feeling or how their job search is going can make such a positive difference. I think it is of paramount importance as teachers to create a welcoming space, where each and everyone will feel that sense of belonging to do what they need to feel a little better than they did prior to arriving. I had no idea how much better I would feel practicing yoga, truly, it has been the most unexpected gift!
You’re an awesome Mom. What do you think is most important to impart on your kids?
Thank you, I am the very happy parent of three rock star humans who have heard from day one, to be kind and to stay curious, always.
Is there something that you used to be afraid of, but aren’t anymore?
The fear of not pleasing everyone all the time. Recently, I was given some valuable advice from two wise friends. The first was this: when you commit, stick with it and if others do not like it, too bad. The second was this: be unapologetic. Working on both.
You purchased the HK Rock Salt Robe and the Florence Slipdress, and rocked them both for our photoshoot (oh those shoes!) What do you love about each?
I am happy you like those shoes, Birdies are my new favourites, for sure. Now, may I just say congratulations to you both? Creating a clothing line is one heck of a venture. And my gosh you have figured it out. These clothes are clearly and thoughtfully designed. When I tried on my new Florence Slip dress my immediate response was “Ahhhhhh.” It felt divine on and I felt divine in it. It is not often that a piece of clothing can do both, my oh my how it does. Quite sincerely, it felt as though it were made just for me, a pretty special feeling.
The Rock Salt Robe is just a fab piece. It too feels great but it is also, dare I say, practical. Wearing it to yoga has been fantastic, I grab my keys, phone and wallet, pop all in the pockets and off I go. So not only is it my purse but it makes yoga pants look good, so thank you!!!!! But the best part of the RS Robe is the glorious fact that I can wear it when I want to look put together.
If you could only choose one, which book would always be at your bedside?
“This is the Story of a Happy Marriage” by Ann Patchett. This is a collection of essays by the spectacularly talented Ann Patchett, my new best friend or as she refers to me, “Carolyn from Canada”.
There is a story about friendship that is heartbreaking yet exudes a powerful and undeniable love. Another about the disappearance of the local bookstore and what she did about it was absolutely marvelous. The importance of believing primary versus secondary sources was a particularly poignant essay. Each one and there are twenty-two, offers perfect bedtime reading, all of which are relevant and of interest. This collection demonstrates why she is one of my favourite authors, I just love reading whatever she writes, be it an essay, non-fiction or fiction, at any time of the day.
When times get tough (and they do for us all) what keeps you going?
Easy…my husband Ian. He is my sounding board, my voice of reason, the one who makes me laugh and lifts me up when I am down. He exemplifies integrity, is patient and wise. He is the love of my life and he is my person in this life.