For those who know me this won't come as a surprise. I love taking photographs. Like, when I say love I mean I have a serious love for taking a good photograph, capturing a memory, a moment in time. It is probably one of my favourite things to do. It's taken me 20 years, but I've finally seen the light. It's time to jump in to doing what I love.
This love affair dates back to high school. As soon as I graduated I bought myself an enlarger (thanks to my Great Aunt Lil). I remember driving into the Henry's in Toronto to get it and the supplies I would need to continue making my own photographs. Ya, we're talking about the days of film and chemical baths. My beloved enlarger lived back and forth between my parents laundry room and the unfinished basement until the time came to pack it away. It still lives somewhere in the recesses of my parents crawl space. Poor forgotten enlarger.
The times have changed a lot since then.
Back then I didn't know how to get started. Now I've already started a small business.
Back then it was just me. Now it's me and a partner, and 2 zany dogs and 2 beautiful babies.
Back then I was afraid of what the future would hold. Now I'm living in that future and I gotta say, I'm pretty darned happy.
Now is the time of my life.
So there will be some changes here at Kokobaru. Don't worry. I love what I do, and will continue doing custom memory quilts and toys. It's just time for me to jump into offering my photography as a service as well.
While talking with my partner the other day I finally realized what it is that I really 'do'. It hit me. I would say 'dawned on me', but it really felt more like it hit me right in the chest. I deal in memories. All the work I love to do deals with creating or curating memories in one way or another. And so Kokobaru will continue to branch out. I currently focus on handicraft work (in the form of custom memory quilts and toys), creative consulting (a little known secret is that I do educational and interpretive program development and training...if you've attended a birthday party at the Museum of Nature, that's my work) and I will be adding photography to my scope as well. I'll be putting together a portfolio, figuring out a revamped website, or possibly a new website specifically for photography. There's a lot to sort out. Either way, I'm pretty excited about the future.
Never in my wildest, nor tamest dreams did I ever picture the life I have. I gotta say it's a lovely surprise to look around and see where I've ended up. Maybe it's because I'm edging closer to 40 or maybe it's because I feel so loved by my partner and children and the good people in my life, but for whatever reason, the paralyzing fear I used to have of the future seems to have been replaced with an appreciation for the now.
Can't really ask for much more than that now can I?
So here's to jumping in.
I'd love to hear about a time you've 'jumped in', or maybe a time you didn't and wish you had.
Another special custom memory quilt is complete!
This one is a whimsical garden scene with an air balloon flying high above. 100% of the fabric came from the client via all old baby clothes, curtains, burp cloths, etc. and I'm happy I was able to incorporate almost every piece she sent in.
This quilt is pieced, with whites and blues representing the skies, green and brown representing soil/grass and trim provided across the top and bottom that ties into the backing and frames the panel. I made appliqué flowers and also used flowers that were part of her daughter's clothing. I love the additional texture this gives the quilt.
There are 3 hidden little pockets and custom appliqués made from photographs of the kitty and the small girl flying in the air balloon (my favourite highlights).
Finally, the backing. I love this beautiful fabric that was the client's daughter's bedroom curtain. Those flowers are just lovely. The red binding is made from a cute little dress. I thought it tied in nicely with the reds on both the front and back and provided a nice 'frame' for the whole quilt (front and back). For stitching the quilt together I stuck to 'stitch in the ditch', which will keep everything securely in place and adds a nice simple texture to the back.
It sure is busy in these parts.
Trust me, I'm not complaining.
With the exception of 2 days of too much humidity, this summer has been glorious. Let me say it again, GLORIOUS.
The little guy is old enough to enjoy playing on his own and it's a real pleasure to witness his imagination running wild. This newfound independence has also allowed me to continue working on a number of projects before our next little bundle of joy arrives.
The garden is thriving and all is well thus far and with the exception of some fatigue, heart burn, and all things generally related to growing a child in your uterus life is good.
There's lots of crafty goodness going around in these parts. I just finished a custom growth chart for a lovely little birthday boy. I'm working with a few lovely folks on some custom memory quilts, and did I mention I do some program development contract work as well? Add to the list my desire to wander and explore and sprinkle in a few road trips and camping excursions and it makes for a very full summer. The work is getting done happily and will continue to as long as this little baby stays put until October.
Mr. Kokobaru and I have been slowly working away at a fun stop motion project to share soon. It was a blast shooting it. Very time consuming, but so worthwhile. It whet our appetites for more creative projects, but there's just not enough time is there? Home renovations, yard work, and general work-work, hasn't stopped us, just slowed us down a little (or a lot). And that's ok.
Some folks may not agree (possibly Mr. Kokobaru), but I think I've relaxed a bit over the last few years in regards to 'getting things done'. I used to stress out about fixing up the house, the garden, creative projects, and on and on and on. I'm getting a bit older and maybe a bit wiser (big maybe). I'm learning to enjoy the process more and stress less about the 'getting it done right now' part. There's no rush. There's always going to be more to do. The basement will get finished one day, the yard is getting better every year. It's the process that's the important part. The time spent working together, planning, dreaming. The breaks to play and explore and enjoy this fleeting life we get to share together. It's very freeing to be moving into this state of mind, very freeing indeed. I don't know if it's age, or parenthood, or what, but I've got to say I'm enjoying life in a different way these days. Finding myself being more present, more content.
What about you?
How's your summer going?
Any exciting plans or goals you've set for yourself?
Little bird did pretty well with his first camping experiences. Rocking it at both Longpoint and Sandbanks. Our last night was a bit rough when he decided not to go to sleep until very late, but aside from that he enjoyed his first genuine camp fire meal, Smores, roasting marshmallows over an open fire and sleeping in a tent. Lessons were learned, patience was required, but all in all a great experience.
Maker of things. Lover of colour and texture and contrast. Thinker & creator. Daughter, sister, partner, mother, friend. Mighty woman.