Storytelling Sunday#4: my typewriter

Hello everyone,

I lost my blogging mojo for a long while, but it's slowly coming back to me. Life has thrown a few difficulties at me in the past few months, but I'm slowly resurfacing and here I am today with my contribution to Sian's monthly blog event: Storytelling Sunday! It's the last one for 2012, so I wanted to be a part of it.

I'd like to talk about one of my favorite objects: my typewriter. Curiously, its use reflects the different phases of my life. 

I used to write little detective stories when I was old enough to write full sentences. I was in love with the sound of this machine and all the things I could do with it. But as life would have it, I slowly but surely turned away from it as I retreated inside completely. Creativity died when I was around 9 and it's only been coming back to me these past few months.
I started taking my typewriter back out again a few years ago when I was co-editing a quarterly zine with some friends here in Bordeaux. Our zine was handmande, so typewriting added a vintage touch to it. Back then, my own creativity was still under thick wrap, but I was immersed in such a fun and creative atmosphere that I could feel my own stuff starting to bubble under the surface. But at that time, I still couldn't find my own words to type. Nothing came to me. Nothing. I would want to write, but nothing would come. If you've ever experienced this kind of feeling, it's really sad and hard. It's a tough place to be.
Last summer, I finally managed to take it out again, but this time, for me only and a creative project: writing poetry. I took Liz Lamoreux's "Poem it Out" class and it led me to territories I never thought I would explore. Me, writing poems? Really? Are you kidding me? YEP! It felt so good to finally use that typewriter again 23 years later and to have my own words magically flow out onto the keys. It's such an exhilarating and powerful experience. It's even more powerful to feel able to finally express what's inside. 
Have a nice Sunday you all. Make sure to visit Sian's blog and read other people's contributions. Grab a cup of tea and have fun!

Sabrina S.


Around here... in words and photos


It's not easy to come back on a regular blogging schedule. When you stop for a long while, it gets more difficult to dare write again… I hope this will soon pass…

Ali Edwards started this "Around here" bloghop, so I thought I might share bits of my life right now…

- Journaling. Me right now during one of favorite rituals: night journaling. A lot has been going on these past few months, so taking the time to settle down and pick up my pen before sleeping has really helped me putting things back into perspective and figuring things out. 

- Taking my feet for more walks this past month. I've venturing out more and exploring my surroundings, and trying to establish more habits outside. I need yet to find a special cafe to go journal as I used to when I was living in Portland, OR.

- Visiting the library. School starts in a week for me in university. I had so much to prepare, I'm learning new skills with online teaching. But I want to learn more, so I can create my original content soon. I've been spending most of my afternoons at the library. I love libraries, especially old ones with book walls!

- Taking Susannah Conway's Unravelling class. It couldn't be a more timely coincidence. My mum offered me part of the class for my birthday, so I participate even more than I usually do. We're half way through and I haven't slacked a single week. I love what this class has made me write and the pictures it made me take. Pure awesomeness! (the class, not what I did!). Here is a collage I made using pictures from magazines that I liked:

Alright, that's it for the little snippets of my life. If you like that kind of things, you can visit Ali's page and read the other participants' entries. As for me, I'll try to be more regular here! I wish you a happy end of weekend.

Sabrina S.


Major paradigm shift: becoming observant

Hello everyone,

Alright, so this summer, I have managed to FINALLY take the time to LOOK at things. To stop. And appreciate. Wow! I have missed out so much on life before! I used to just go through life from one chore to the next and never looking around. The end result of such a way of life is that time passes by super fast and you just don't remember much. But worse, you just don't have much to celebrate! That's the real kill-joy of life! 
I have taken a bunch of classes (special post about it soon!) that have taught me to stop and observe. Then, grab a camera and/or a pen and write down what is going on before my eyes. To be honest, my eyes were really untrained when I first started. I just couldn't see anything "special". But then, when I started really paying attention, I was amazed at the result. Honestly, it's one of the most life changing experiences I've gone through so far. 




Overall, this new paradigm shifts your entire perstective. It has enabled me to welcome A LOT of positivity. It's truly uplifting.

So, here are 2 layouts I made to document this shift in perspective. I told you there would be scrapbooking from time to time. It's one of my favorite way to document my life.
The first one shows a picture from my last bike trip. First time I really tried to stop and notice anything "eye" worthy. I enjoyed typing the journaling on my old typewriter. I used my June 2012 Studio Calico So Cal kit and the design was inspired by Cococricketsmama (a SC member):

The second one was one was inspired by Celine Navarro, using my August Studio Calico Mama's Porch add-on kit. I wanted to celebrate what I love about the summer and I thought these lively colors were just perfect!

The LOs are different in color scheme and techniques but they show my growing awareness of what's going on here.

I'll come back soon with some other interesting stuff. I hope you're having a great day.

Sabrina S.


Storytelling Sunday #3: the summer of 1987

Hello Storytellers,
For those who would be interested, yesterday, our dear Sian had a blog post here. If you want to read it, you can find it here. Again, thank you Sian for the blog post and for hosting such a cool monthly feature on your blog. Here is my contribution for this month:

The Summer of 1987

I remember putting my right foot into an anthill and the stinging pain I felt. I also remember the buzzes from the mosquitoes and craneflies at night that kept me awake and led me to sleep in my grandparents’ bedroom sometimes. I remember my first swimming lessons, the giggles as we took a stroll in a barouche in old paved streets, the old farmer’s market with living poultry...
 These sensory memories remind me of my vacation near Toulouse in the summer of 1987. I was 7. My grandparents had rented a house next to a farm and we spent a month there, exploring the region, visiting castles, museums, and religious buildings, and learning more about the French painter, Toulouse-Lautrec. I was too young to understand half of it. But all I can remember, overall, is the special light in that region. A special orangey light that colored everything. The landscape, the façades of buildings, the sky...
Evening walks meant special conversations with my grandparents. Though my grandparents had to drag me to come along, I remember those walks by the light of the sunset. What could we talk about then? I wish I could rewind the movie to find that out.
 Everyday, I would bring peelings to the sheep and stare at the cows and horses for long moments. I had never been close to animals, so I felt privileged to share a small portion of their life on a daily basis. Our landlords were a very old couple with their 50-year-old daughter, Eva (the lady on the left in the picture). They had a shepherd dog named whisky, a favorite beverage of the father as our daily “apéritif” showed us. I had found a nickname for the landlady, I called her Mamie Nova (like the dessert brand) as she looked like a sweet Granny. They didn’t have any grandchildren, so they made sure I spent the best stay at the farm. And I did.
These vacations are deeply rooted in my memory because they were the only positive experience that happened in 1987. It felt like a much-welcomed breathing moment. I will never find the right words to thank my grandparents for taking me away that summer. It breathed some life to my bones. They took me away from a then unhappy home, a school full of bullies, and a year of successive injuries, to wrap me in a comfy blanket of love and expose me to the many wonders of the world. Again, thank you from the bottom of my soul for bringing so much color and love into my life.    

Happy Sunday!

Sabrina S.


Weekend Inspiration #3: Sian Fair


I'm back today with a guest post by one of my favorite British scrapbookers/storytellers: Sian Fair, whose blog, From High in the Sky, is full of stories, scrapbooking layouts, sewing and knitting. It's one of the blogs I visit regularly and there's always something special for me there. I "met" her in one of Shimelle's classes and every month, I try to participate to her Storytelling Sunday challenge. If you're not yet familiar with it, every first Sunday of the month, we all gather on her blog to share one of our stories. We're extra lucky as Sian shared 2 of her scrapbooking layouts with us AND you have a cool writing challenge waiting for you, if your heart feels so inclined. I prepared my story for tomorrow, so I hope you'll join us there! 

Right up to my teenage years, I believed everyone thought the way I did. That writing was like breathing, that life without a notebook was no life at all. I wrote letters to my friends, I published family newspapers. I entered poetry competitions and I took my turn editing the school magazine. I thought about journalism; but that got lost somewhere along the way as I pursued my second love of History. It took a hobby to bring me back.

I discovered scrapbooking. The simple act of gathering up photos and putting them on a page with some decoration and a few words. I started small and then I realised that I wanted to dig deeper, to record my life and tell my story. Now I’m passionate: everyone has a story and I want to hear it!

That’s the idea behind Storytelling Sunday, which runs on my blog on the first Sunday of every month. Sometimes I’ll get an email and it will say something like – I’d love to join in, but I don’t think I can write.
Do you know what I say? I say: if you can talk, you can write. Really. I deal in memories; in stories about ordinary lives, made extraordinary by the way we remember them. And you don’t have to go back far to make a start. We all know how to talk about what we did yesterday: we do it all the time! Write it like that. It doesn’t have to be fancy to have meaning. That’s what I say.

There are beautiful words out there waiting, to be sure, lyrical words, outrageous words; but you don’t always need them to tell a good story. I’ve always believed that if you want to start, but you don’t know how, you just need to start anyway. Simply, quietly, with a notebook and pencil if it suits; and a story about something you do every day. That’s how I work. I can’t write on a computer, so I don’t; and I can’t pull a story right out of my imagination, so I write about what I know. And that’s fine with me, for I have one other piece of advice I like to offer anyone who asks. Remember: whatever you write? It’s right.
..and whatever you write, I’d love to see you at Storytelling Sunday tomorrow. The rest of the community would like to meet you too. You won’t find a friendlier bunch anywhere on the internet. Guaranteed.

Sian Fair lives in the UK with her husband and two teenage children. She makes stuff, she blogs on From High in the Sky, and she is currently writing for the UK scrapbooking magazine Scrap365.

Thank you a million times, Sian, for writing this post and for sharing 2 of your layouts. As for you, readers, don't hesitate to visit Sian's blog tomorrow to read some good stories or sharing one!
Have a good weekend,

Sabrina S.


Weekend Inspiration #2: Lindsay Drya


Today is the second installment of Weekend Inspiration and I'm very honored to welcome a blog post from an artist that I discovered a few months ago and that I really love. Lindsay Drya is a Belgian writer, mixed-media artist, and photographer. She's an artist of many talents, each one of her posts is sure to surprise you. You can find writing, photography, painting, drawing, and many other things. You can find her on her blog, Dryada Journals. All the artwork included in this post are hers. Lucky us! 

Daily dream journaling
Hello sweeties,

Today I wanted to talk about my writing experience which I have since 2007: journaling my dreams. I get up, try to remember what I dreamed of and write it down. Now, for some this would not be a daily practice since not everyone can remember their dreams very often, but I do. Even more: my average is 5-6 dreams a night.
The first years it was much fun. I wanted to learn lucid dreaming and remembering dreams is the first practice to reach that goal. Remembering was easy peasy for me but writing… no way! I’ve tried it when I was 14 years old… 16 years old and at my third try, I finally had the discipline to continue with it. How much I love writing, writing dreams was very hard for me. On the other hand, I knew this was important for me, to learn lucid dreaming but also for my inner wisdom: Dreams reveal a lot about yourself, even (No, mostly) things you don’t wish to see or try to hide.
The more I was journaling my dreams, the more my subconscious showed me gratitude. I started to dream about artworks, poetry, photography… I even had precognitive dreams! Like my mind tried to tell me: “Don’t. Stop. Writing. This is way too important!” And so I didn’t.  Instead of quitting (I had a lot of these moments you know) I decided to work with my dreams. 
For example:
Poems and images I saw in my dreams, I used in my final project in High school.
After many dreams of macro photography, I bought a macro camera.

I started art journaling after I saw art journal pages in hypnagogia. (hallucinations before falling asleep)

I painted 30 dreams in a row for a painting which was exposed at the art gallery at the International Dream Conference.

Another idea in hypnagogia I’ve used in my art performance last month.

~ I write haiku’s and 6 words stories weekly based on what I’ve dreamed that night.

And so on.
I truly believe dreams can not only reveal a lot about yourself but also give you lots of inspiration. Soon or later, muses enter your dreams to show you some juicy stuff to work with.

Did you ever experienced something like this? Did you create art based on dreams? Maybe you had a dream last night you wish to share with us?


Lindsay Drya is a writer, photographer and mixed media artist who journal her (night) dreams every day. Besides being a blog addict, she tries to live her life in a creative organic way in which she hope to inspire people with her art. Spirituality is essential in her life for it is her goal to live and love life unconditional.

You can find Lindsay Drya here:
Other links you can find at http://about.me/lindsaydrya

A huge thank you Lindsay for this awesome blog post. Have all a very nice weekend.

Sabrina S.


Storytelling Sunday#2: Grandpa's Wedding

Hello Storytellers,

We're the first Sunday of the month and Sian invites us to share a moment to tell a story. I've not done it for a while, so I thought it was high time to be back and keep this blog series going. It's so unique and enjoyable to do it and read other people's stories. Here's mine:

Grandpa's Wedding - The Other Story

Here is a picture of my Grandpa circa 1932, aged 4, surrounded by 3 young ladies at school. Back then, there was no TV or DVD to entertain the kids. Teachers had to wrack their brains to find fun things to do.
On that day, the teacher thought they would play dress up and organize a wedding. Michel, aka Grandpa, thus married Renee. She was the teachers’ daughter and apparently had a miserable life with them. They were known in the village for being very harsh people. Her mother had the reputation of making the wooden floor tremble when she rushed to grab pupil’s cheeks because they were not listening.
Though they got “married” very young, Grandpa and Renee never flirted, nor thought about being more than friends as they grew up. They liked each other very much and were very close, but no line was ever crossed. They went to the movies and dancing together. From what he was able to tell me, she was an extremely kind person, that’s probably something they could share. My grandpa is the kindest person I know.
At the age of 18, Renee left to continue her studies in England and nearly never returned to her home village. She married and had kids.
If you know a Renée Brimont from Aouste, a small village in the North-East of France, please, reach out to me, my grandpa would love to reconnect, if she's still alive.
One the ladies in the background gave this photo to my grandpa a few months ago and it triggered all these memories back to his mind. He had forgotten about that first wedding. He later married my grandma, Suzy, around 1950 for real. But that’s a complete different story…

Hope you liked it as much as I did. I love working with vintage photos. I'm collecting more and more photos from my family and I also need to collect the stories that go with them. Someday, I'll make a big scrapbook with all of them, so we can all enjoy them. 
Alright, I'll grab a cup of tea and read my fellow participants' stories...
Have a nice Sunday!

Sabrina S.


Guest post!!

Hi everyone,

A month ago, it was my 1-month blog anniversary and on that day, I received an invitation to write a guest post for Mari L. McCarthy's blog CREATEWRITENOW. My blog post is here

I was truly ecstatic. I was already thinking about writing posts that were not answers to prompts, but I wasn't sure I should. So Mari's invitation was just the right boost at the right time. Thanks again Mari!
Julia Cameron once said that once you start walking on the right path to who you want to become, the universe would listen and offer opportunities. When I first read that, it made me laugh in a "yeah right" kind of way. Now, I'm starting to feel it's true. These past 2 months have offered me countless opportunities to grow and increase my capacity to write, it's incredible.
My blogging is limited these days, my internet connexion is down. I can't wait to have it back! I have tons to blog about!!!

Sabrina S.


Storytelling Sunday #1: Rotheneuf


Since writing has been back on my priority list for this year, I finally decided to participate to Sian's Storytelling Sunday, a challenge I've been reading about for a while. To quote her:
"On the first Sunday of every month I'll be celebrating Storytelling Sunday with a tale or two. And you are most cordially invited to join me! Let's leave the crafting for a day, and sit round the fire and spin a yarn. Maybe you have a special memory, a story from years ago, a family legend..let's hear them all."

So, for my first participation in this monthly challenge, I thought I would take you along with me to a special place I visited in 2009. Ready?

Let’s turn back the hands of time to the nineteenth century and follow the footsteps of our main character: Adolphe Fouré (1839-1910), a priest from Rennes, Brittany, France. He led a peaceful and ambitious career in the Church until the age of 55 when he suffered a stroke which left him dumb and deaf. He couldn’t pursue his career, so he left for Rotheneuf, near St-Malo (30 min. away from Rennes) to retire.
He had always been a contemplative soul, so his numerous wanderings led him to the sea where he spent an enormous amount of time. 

Slowly, his favorite spot started being peopled with imaginary creatures.

From 1894 to 1907, he grabbed the most rudimentary tools he had and his limited artistic knowledge to carve out scenes and characters on the rocks, defying waves, winds, and sea spray.

He sculpted more than 300 strange characters on these rocks. These creatures are taken from local folklore and legends as well as the history of his time.

This large rock "garden" stages pirates and noblemen as well as hellish creatures and animals.

It is still possible to visit this special place, though the sculptures are slowly but surely fading due to the erosion of time, sea spray, and water streaming. As you can see, his inspiration was varied and the expression of his art, surprising and quite astonishing given his very limited tools.   

What an extraordinary walk through someone's imaginative world! I love raw art and the spontaneous expression of human genius.
I hope you liked the journey. What about YOU? What story do you have to share?
If you have one, don’t hesitate to blog it and link it back to Sian’s blog.

Personally, I loved this first participation. I didn’t have time at all today, so I had to whip it up really fast (so, sorry for the potential grammatical mistakes...).

Sabrina S.