effynowMy name is Effy, and I'm a journal artist, on line teacher, and creativity coach. I like to write about art journaling, intentional creativity, creative business, and my personal and ever evolving brand of 'woo woo magpie' spirituality. I also tend to write a lot about my very ordinary life in an attempt to foster a sense of appreciation, mindfulness, and reverence for what IS. I overshare. :) You have been warned!

There is a full blown article and interview about me  by Tamara LaPorte over here on Willowing and another one here on DirtyFootPrints.Com.

Find me on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and in my on line community. You can also sign up for my newsletter here.

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All Of Me – An Ode To The Journal

All Of Me – An Ode To The Journal

There's room for all of it. The joy of spring springing up around me. The longing for more time out of doors, and less virtual time. The body's hunger for skin, and its equal love of solitude. The mellow dog, the geese flying over head, the coyotes yipping in the night, the chickadees. The blissed out tears over my daughter's wedding dress. The sadness that I never did wear a dress like that and likely never will. The worry for my adult children. The relief that they are adults now and I can be flawed and human without the kind of consequences that come when one is flawed and human and still raising little ones. The therapy. The hours and hours of self-reflection. The silent walks by the creek with questions tucked between my tongue and teeth (they rattle if I don't hold on to them). The neighbour passing a honeycomb cut fresh from the frame across the fence. The children playing in the yard next door, excitedly showing me their new Frisbee. Couples meandering up and down the trail at the end of my garden, holding hands, breathing deep. All of it. The moments of regret that hit like a rubber hammer against the knee - jarring and stirring up reflexive reactions. The way I have to talk myself down off the ledge of 'it will always be this scary, this uncertain' back down to 'sometimes you're scared, but mostly, you're not.' The sudden burst of social followed by the protracted period of hermity. The cold pizza at midnight. The hot coffee at 7 a.m. There is a... read more
New Moon + Solar Eclipse + Spring Equinox – OH MY!

New Moon + Solar Eclipse + Spring Equinox – OH MY!

Hi, Sweet Taters!  I have some stuffages to share. :) FIRSTLY: Art + Woo Woo I host a free group over here for those of us who are not opposed to mixing our art with a bit of woo woo. It is a Moon Journaling group with a focus on the New Moon, and for this month's offering, I'm including a full length lesson in creating this painting: This lesson was originally created for Moonshine 2014, but it is perfect for this auspicious moon, so I'm releasing it for free. If you're not already a member in my NING network, come on over! If you are a member, just click here and join the group and you're in. Voila! Manfingy's Dad Manfingy's dad came through surgery and is in recovery. We are so grateful that he is okay! MF is flying to India on Wednesday and he will be there for three weeks. Though we don't live together, he is still the person I see the most throughout the week, so it's going to suck balls to be without him. I'll probably art my face off in an attempt to keep myself from going batcrackers. :) Art solves pretty much everything, don't you think? Wellbutrin XL I started taking my meds before bed and while it breaks my sleep a little bit, it is better for me than crashing at 2 p.m. just as my day is ramping up. I already feel a little more energetic, a little less lead-limbed, which is so, so good after months of feeling like lifting my painting arm took enormous effort. I'm feeling... read more
Break Up With Perfect

Break Up With Perfect

One of the more frustrating things about being an art journal teacher is that, unlike when I'm in student mode, I can't just faff around for hours and hours with a spread until it meets my standards. I have to get it done. In my private practice, there are no rules and no time limits, but when it comes to teaching, I have deadlines. I have people waiting for the thing to be finished and uploaded. This 'need for done', however, is also one of the most rewarding things about being an art journal teacher. Let me explain! Before I began teaching, I suffered from a really bad case of perfectionism. It was so bad, in fact, that I rarely actually finished anything because if it wasn't perfect, I wasn't happy, and we all know that perfect is impossible. Perfect is one of those sledgehammers we use to bludgeon ourselves with. It is a thief of play and joy and fun. Learning how to not just live with 'done' but celebrate 'done' has been a huge boon. Here's what celebrating 'done' looks like in my world. I did this spread this week for BOD You will notice that the word "Boundaries" is totally misspelled. As I was recording this lesson, I had a moment when I was pretty sure I wasn't going to spell it right (I'm nothing without spell-check), but I pushed on because - say it with me - I had to get it done, and done is better than perfect! Despite the oopsie, I love this spread. There are little tiny areas of soul-delighting goodness in... read more
Shame Busting: Self-Care

Shame Busting: Self-Care

Trigger alert for mentions of sexual violence against children/child abuse. Self-care is a thing I have to really work to engage in. When I first started hearing that term bandied about on the Internets, I was agog, because, dudes. The self-care gurus were talking about spa days and mani/pedi dates and glamour photo shoots and buying that handbag you've always wanted. Me? I just wanted to like myself enough to feed myself breakfast. Radical self-care, for me, looked like showering consistently. It looked like feeding myself *before* my blood sugar tanked. It looked like giving myself a few hours off a week instead of driving myself into the ground. It looked like *not* letting myself run out of the medication I need to breathe. I genuinely did not know how to care for myself properly, and it took about a year in therapy before I started doing the very basic first goal I'd set for myself: eating something before noon. I find the self-care climate uncomfortable for that reason. I find it difficult to talk about self-care because I secretly think most people are just fine around the issue of showering, feeding themselves, making and keeping medical appointments. I feel like a bit of a freak because when I *do* make and keep medical appointments in a timely fashion (before I run out of meds/when I actually have a medical concern), I feel deserving of a medal AND a gold star AND a tiara. It's been a struggle. My 'self-care deficit' is a direct consequence of childhood abuse. It's a hot button issue within my body. Exploring it means... read more
Other People’s Shit, Business Class, Blogging, And That Lipstick I’ll Never Wear

Other People’s Shit, Business Class, Blogging, And That Lipstick I’ll Never Wear

Sometimes you just need to dump your purse out on the table and show your friends all the weird shit you're carrying around in there. This is my version of that. Some of it is pretty negative, so if you'd rather skip it, please do. I'm putting it after some pretty pictures of my art<-----BECAUSE BOUNDARIES. 1) One of my adult kids told me to never speak to them again a few weeks ago because I did something they consider unforgivable. *EYE ROLL* I saw this kid on the street yesterday, and respecting their boundaries, I just walked on by. They immediately turned it into a victim-hood story in which I WALKED BY THEM WITHOUT SAYING ANYTHING. Well, you asked me to, and also, why would I stop to talk to someone who called me ALL THE NAMES and wished ALL THE HORRIBLE THINGS WOULD HAPPEN TO ME. I am incredibly annoyed with this situation and having trouble shaking it. It is totally messing with me. Mama's, feel free to share your horror stories about adult kids who push your buttons in the comments because commiseration is awesome, and I could use a little mama love. 2) I am loving a business class I'm taking, but I also feel defensive about it because people I like and respect have complained about the affiliate marketing that happens around this class every year around this time. I have no desire or intention to cram this class down anyone's throat, and yet, I feel like being in the class means I will be associated with THAT PERSON WHO CRAMS THE CLASS down... read more
Impostor Syndrome & What Makes An Artist

Impostor Syndrome & What Makes An Artist

I'm over starting every post with "The One In Which..." It was fun for a while but it started feeling a bit limiting. It was a trick I used to get myself blogging again after feeling like blogging was too much work, and it helped A LOT but I don't need it anymore. Besides, "The One In Which I Talk About Artsy Restlessness" isn't exactly rolling off the tongue today. I posted a vlog two weeks ago in which I talked about impostor syndrome. I had all these feelings about not being good enough to do what I do. So many teachers put up images of absolutely perfectly beautiful work. It's like everything springs out of them fully formed and absolutely gorgeous. It's intimidating. Most of my peers in the on line journaling/mixed media art world were artists before they started teaching. That is not the case with me. I was a writer before I started art journaling, and art journaling was something I took on so I could unblock myself as a writer. I didn't ever dream (or even imagine) that I would teach art journaling. I didn't ever even want to be a visual artist. I came to art as a rank beginner in 2009 and dove into teaching because, essentially, someone dared me to. It was accidental - or maybe serendipitous  - and it was entirely unexpected. This means that I STILL spend a lot of time feeling like what I want to create and what I'm capable of creating are just not jiving right now. I *do* feel good about how I have progressed over... read more
The One In Which I Talk About All The Things

The One In Which I Talk About All The Things

It's Monday, and a lot has gone on since last we typed, so I'm going to take it thing by thing. The TL;DR version: 1) It's been very fricken cold here. So cold that my social life took a nose dive. 2) I took myself to the salon to get my hair did. 3) I ended up in ER last week with an asthma exacerbation and had to do a five day course of prednisone (also known as Vitamin Psychotic). 4) I changed my relationship status from 'single' to 'it's complicated'. 5) I vlogged for a few days and then completely fell off the vlogging radar BUT I got what I needed to get out of it, so I'm content. I'm going to fill you in on each thing just in case you're interested. :) Thing One It's been fricken cold here. February has always been my least favourite month of the year because it is the dead of winter and spring, though close in terms of the calendar, feels like an eternity away. I can succumb rather easily to depression in February - at least, that's been my experience - but the view outside my window (and a whole lot of lovely wild animal sightings - voles, minks, deer, and woodpeckers) have kept me sane. I stopped doing anything outside the house for the most part. Thankfully, my house is cosy and warm and full of art supplies and affords me moments like these:     Thing Two I have never had my hair professionally coloured, and February felt like the perfect time to do that because everything... read more
Radiant Faces Update! Get it now for $45.00!

Radiant Faces Update! Get it now for $45.00!

Hello, lovely beings! I am really excited to offer you Radiant: Faces in its self-guided mode for $45. All content is downloadable and will remain up in the classroom until October 31, 2015. I know that many of you wanted to sign up while the class was live but for one reason or another, you weren't able to. Now's your chance!! Click here for more information. I'll be back shortly with a more personal blog.... read more
The One In Which I Work On Not Numbing Out

The One In Which I Work On Not Numbing Out

So, balancing my meat space life and virtual life is my intention for February, and I am feeling a lot more balanced about things. Something about just saying 'this is what I'm working on' is extremely effective for me. I think it's because I'm a journaler. It's really difficult to ignore the promptings of one's heart and soul when one is continuously engaging one's heart and soul. Know what I mean? As I've begun attaining this balance, I've been noticing some real out of whackness in regards to the way I consume media. I plunge into a new series as though it is a needle full of heroine heroin (that was an interesting typo!). I get jacked up on the series. I ignore my reality altogether. I numb out. And then I return to the world after a Netflix (or iTunes) binge feeling foggy and 'hungover' and wondering where the hell the last five hours went. Of course, I do my work first. I do my dishes. I do my laundry. I leave the house. I make art. So I guess what I'm saying is: I'm a functional addict. *LOL* Still. Functional isn't good enough for me, so I'm working on being a little less numbed out and a little more engaged with my reality. There are, of course, reasons why I might not necessarily *want* to be engaged with my reality. I have a lot of issues around how much uncertainty I'm currently experiencing in my life. I am not thrilled to be living alone (and spending most of my time alone). I know that the numbing out... read more
The One In Which I Recap January & Set An Intention For February {Photos + Video}

The One In Which I Recap January & Set An Intention For February {Photos + Video}

Yesterday, February 1st, was Imbolc. Imbolc is one of my favourite festivals on the pagan wheel of the year because it is a) dedicated to one of my favourite Goddesses, Brighid, and b) celebrates mid-winter. Mid-winter means winter is HALF OVER and there's something very hopeful and uplifting about that despite the knee high drifts of snow to trudge through, and the air that hurts my face, and the constant hum of my space heater because it's COLD IN HERE. I spend most of my time these days bundled up in flannel pajamas, a ridiculously over-sized plush robe, hooded sweaters and wrist warmers, wool socks, slippers, and a warm puppy attached to my person by her tenacious desire to always be snuggling. It sounds kind of miserable when I put it like that, but it's actually kind of cozy. Boring sometimes, but cozy. And I have been absolutely excellent about ensuring that I leave the house at least once or twice a week for Open Mic nights, coffee with friends, solo dinners... So, I know I left you guys high and dry there for a while... I'm not sorry, though, because I've been living in the real world for a while where there is coffee and pixie dust snow flakes and trees that look like the bones of the earth and the sound of many people chatting at once, and music, and excellent food, and paint flung at canvases, and snuggles with the puppy, and binge watching The Fall on Netflix, and dishes to be done, and laundry to be folded - two things which give me an enormous... read more
The One In Which I Talk To You About Nastygrams

The One In Which I Talk To You About Nastygrams

I was talking with a dear friend the other day about the craziness that is creative business and how it can be a very scary thing to grow. When I first started, it seemed to be simple mathematics that the larger your number of students/clients/lovers of your stuff, the greater the number of difficult/painful/unkind interactions you might have with them. I'd seen it happen for other teachers/content creators, and so I was pretty much terrified that it would happen for me, too. And it did. And it was hard. And I spent a lot of nights curled up sobbing in the corner of the couch thinking maybe I should just quit because it didn't feel worth growing my business if it meant dealing with all the nasty. And I got a therapist who helped me recognize how NOT ABOUT ME all that shit was. I learned how to deal with the triggery feeling of omgdoom that arose, and came to understand that the omgdoom feeling came, not from the negative interactions themselves, but from the original bullying wound I had carried over from childhood. I came to understand that people who bully people on the Internet, that take the time and energy to write a nastygram or harshly criticize or judge their teachers or content providers, are not well. That trying to work shit out with those people was a lot like throwing myself to the wolves. That some people really do not deserve my time and attention. That my hard work to work things out must be reserved for people who actually care about me. That my caring,... read more
The One In Which I Offer You A Quickie

The One In Which I Offer You A Quickie

I just wanted to pop in with this: The perfect pixie cut + bonus flannel This cut made me so freaking happy. Also, I got my eyebrows done (waxed) for the first time in - oh - a year. Self-care win! Also, this: My beacon of gentle joy, created for Life Book 2015. And finally THIS! There's a new Wildly Inspired up in my on line network. It's free and it's for you, so do pop on over and check it... read more
The One In Which I Catch You Up

The One In Which I Catch You Up

I have a lot to cover in this post, so bear with me. It's picture heavy and TL;DR. :) I did a mini-retreat in December shortly before the holidays. This was the second year I checked into the Frederick Street Inn here in Kitchener for a few days of no work and lots of whirlpool baths. When I arrived, the lovely owner, Amanda, give me a big hug and helped me get settled in. The next four days were pretty much glorious. This sums it up. I took nine baths in four days. I am totally serious. :) I also ate a lot and wandered a fair bit, and dug into one of those yearly planner things. Then I realized that I really don't want to do someone else's planner every year. I'd rather create my own! So that got put on my list of things to do in 2015. I meditated a fair bit as well, and came to some conclusions. I work too hard. I take on too much. It isn't good for me to be so busy with content creation that I feel overwhelmed all the time. It's a good way to self-medicate, but I don't *want* to self-medicate.  I let go of Moonshine for 2015 and decided to focus on Book Of Days & Life Book pretty much exclusively, at least in the early part of this year. As spring arrives, we'll see what happens, but for now, I am working in a pared down way that allows for lots of personal work and healing. Book Of Days began with Opening Ceremonies on Jan 1.... read more
BOD 2015 Winner Announced!

BOD 2015 Winner Announced!

I had a giveaway for a free seat in Book Of Days 2015 - Volume One and today, I drew the winning entry! YAY! Congratulations!! I've already emailed you. xo We began today with opening ceremonies in which I walked everyone through decorating the cover with intention. Our first lesson will go live on Monday, January 5th, so there is still plenty of time to sign up!       I am totally overwhelmed today AND I'm in Ottawa visiting with family, so that's all I've got for now. I will return on January 3rd and resume my usual schedule. xo  ... read more
The One In Which I Talk To You About Ordinary Beauty (And also reveal why I’m not a lifestyle blogger)

The One In Which I Talk To You About Ordinary Beauty (And also reveal why I’m not a lifestyle blogger)

I've been working on the opening ceremonies for Book Of Days today and I wrote up a little introduction PDF about our first theme of 2015. I liked it so much that I wanted to share it with all of you because of all the things I preach and teach, this long look for ordinary beauty thing is probably the core of the meat of the root of it. Here you go. On me. Bless you. right click to 'save as' I'm also planning to do a lot more 'face time' videos in my teaching schedule this year, so I thought I'd share my first one with y'all so you can get a load of why I'm not a lifestyle/fashion blogger and also who I am and why people find me so easy to relate too. (Messy hair hidden under a knit cap, check! Braless, check! Bare-faced, check! This is about as real as it gets, folks! :))  I will be off-blog until January 2, 2015 but I will still be administrating class access, etc.... read more
The One In Which I Sing An Ode To Gentle Joy

The One In Which I Sing An Ode To Gentle Joy

If you're looking for the Bloom True giveaway info, you can find it here. Hello, my loves! I am here to ramble, so please pardon the inevitable derailed trains of thought all over the place. I have a few things I want to share, and none of them are connected, so here we go: Thing One I decided on my word of the year yesterday while sitting in my backyard. No snow, though we do have some mild flurries today. Anyway, as I was sitting there, a few crows came to play in the trees above my head, as they do, and I laughed because the evening before, I'd done some private art journaling around the old crow oracle - one for sorrow, two for joy, three for a girl, etc. etc. The spread I'd been working on was a 'one for sorrow' type spread, which I was playing with while watching a horribly depressing but compelling series on Netflix. (The Killing - really good crime drama, if you're into that sort of thing). There is so much sorrow in this series, and so much gloomy weather, too, that the single crow as harbinger of sorrow just popped into my head as I was watching. While I was sitting in my backyard the next day, looking out over the creek, sipping a hot cup of coffee, watching the dog romp in the leaves, enjoying the unseasonable temperatures and the December air that, blessedly, did not hurt my face (!!), these crows came and gave me my word for the year. Sorrow's other side of the coin. Two crows for... read more
The One In Which I Tell You What I’m Doing Today (And also give you a coupon)

The One In Which I Tell You What I’m Doing Today (And also give you a coupon)

  Today is for decorating the art journal I created for the next session of Book Of Days. I have dreams, as I look at this scrumptious hand bound journal, of something really soft and dreamy - vintage looking, maybe. I was wondering, this morning, why my heart wants that when I generally go CRAY CRAY with colour and throw everything but the kitchen sink at a mixed media thing, and I realized that it was about making my art journal a soft place to fall. Art journal as pillow, as blanket fort, as sanctuary. It's true that I love vibrant colour. My journals are full of Quinacrodone Magenta and Cobalt Teal and Hansa Yellow and lots of black and white for contrast. I generally enjoy HELLA COLOUR and lots of chaos in a background. So, this desire for a pillow soft ivory/cream/simple/vintage journal cover feels new and tentative. I'll show you when it's finished. Folks in Book Of Days will be getting the video on Jan 1 along with an intention spread for the session. Do join me if you like. Use coupon code bootcamp for deep, deep Effy-style discount. I have picked a word of the year since 2010. Last year, I picked EASE. That's a laugh and a half, eh? This year, I was thinking AUDACIOUS, but you know? I'm not sure. That feels like a lot to live up to. Maybe I should let my heart's desire lead me in the direction of 'soft' or 'sanctuary' or 'rest' or even 'nest'. I haven't decided yet, but I will let you know when I do. I... read more
The One In Which I Declare My Bloggy Intentions For 2015 (and also overshare).

The One In Which I Declare My Bloggy Intentions For 2015 (and also overshare).

It was time to align my blog with what I actually want to write about, so today was for that. I swept, dusted, and put up some new drapes here on the blog today, and man, did that every feel good. Like moving into a new place. After a horrible breakup. *Snort* Last year was rough, and therefore, I didn't blog much. I Facebooked my face off, but the blog was a bit dusty and forlorn. I kept *wanting* to blog, but I didn't have very much to say that wasn't relationship related, and that felt - I dunno - squicky. I felt exposed and whiny and a waffl-y and all over the place, and instead of just letting that be where I was, I stuck to mostly business only posts most of the year, threw in a few bitterscreeds, and otherwise spent all my time working or watching all the things on Netflix. This is my blog's new mission statement: I like to write about art journaling, intentional creativity, creative business, and my personal and ever evolving brand of 'woo woo magpie' spirituality. I also tend to write a lot about my very ordinary life in an attempt to foster a sense of appreciation, mindfulness, and reverence for what IS. I overshare. :) You have been warned! This coming year, I plan to write about all the things. Because, hey. It's my blog. And although, yes, I do use this blog to 'market' my classes, the truth is, anyone who buys one of my classes likely knows what's going on with me anyway, because the majority of my... read more
Today Only!

Today Only!

Today only, by which I mean until I remember to shut it down, you can get Radiant:Faces for %50 off. Just apply coupon code boxingday to your purchase and you can have the class for $44.50! The live portion of the class is now finished, which means that all the lessons are just sitting there waiting for you to enjoy them! The classroom will remain open until October 31, 2015 and there will be a challenge to complete 18 lessons before that time period in order to win $100 delivered to your PayPal account PLUS a seat in Book Of Days 2016. (I'm looking way ahead this year!). Click here for details on the... read more
The One In Which I Say THANK YOU With Some Free Stuff & A Giveaway & A Coupon Code

The One In Which I Say THANK YOU With Some Free Stuff & A Giveaway & A Coupon Code

Hiya. :) Wow. That last post was a doozy, eh? And your responses were amazeballs. So beautifully witnessing and supportive. THANK YOU. x a bazillion. For the last couple of days, I've been all over the Internets answering questions, emails and PMs about my depression and where I'm at now. I also did something I've been wanting to do for a while: I released Book Of Days Boot Camp into the world as a free offering. Prior to this release, Boot Camp was only available to students in Book Of Days. However, it is such a wonderful program (one of the best things I've ever taught, really) and what I share in that class has been such a huge part of my recovery that I want to share it. For free. For all. This class was created in my second year of teaching Book Of Days as an intensive in the art of mixed media art journaling and bookbinding. It was created so that instead of having to spend a lot of time in each video explaining basic concepts, each new session of Book Of Days could have a ready-made “art journaling immersion” that folks could dig into either before their session starts, or during the session. The session is organized into four chapters, which you will find linked below. The materials are designed to take you through the entire process of creating an art journal (called around here, the BOD or Book Of Days) & an art grimoire. The BOD is for art journal spreads and the grimoire is for experimentation with different mediums/techniques. Many of us use... read more

Book Of Days: Facing Foward

BOD2015v3

Six week art journaling and life documentation class begins September 4th

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