My hands constantly need to be making: wood burning, brush lettering, cross stitch, watercolours, weaving….I love it all. I named my shop after canoes, because that is where I am most at one with nature: dipping my paddle and listening to loons.
Wood burning is my Plan B after I had to quit teaching from chronic back pain, due to cancer treatment. I’m proud to say I kicked cancer to the curb eight years ago. While convalescing, modern pyrography became both my creative outlet and meditative practice. A steady hand requires deep breathing. Tension melts. Not being able to teach elementary school anymore, I fell head over heels for the vibe and camaraderie of artisan markets.
It is humbling to be entrusted with my customers' visions. My contour lake maps have become family heirlooms. A Christmas piece is gifted from a foster family to the birth mother. A family name plank marks the way to a cottage. Ornaments become part of family traditions. A large wood burned plank became a tree swing in a family's new home.
2020 has led me to help others develop a creative practice to improve their lives. I mean, I went from bed ridden to Cheerfully Made in two years - surely I could use my story to help others transform. I now offer online art courses and sell DIY Burn and Brush kits. It's my way of offering a dose of creative self-care at home.