Humble Holiday Wishes to You All…

It’s that crazy time of year, a mixed time of year. Good times, nostalgic times, stressful times, lonely times, exciting times, re-uniting times, thoughtful times, panicky times, and plain ole it’s any other day times.

What is it for you?

Each year has proven a mix of all the above, but I do remember in my far past Christmas was a time of great joy, an intimate time in my little creative family. We had a rule that we all had to make at least one gift to each other. As we created in our selected corners, and screamed, “don’t come in here”, the energy built wonderfully up until thee day. It truly was special, and I will always treasure those snowy country times.

Of course, as life goes on, things change, evolve, alter, and become not the same. And, that’s normal. (but the kid in me just wants it to always be like it was…!!!)

Prince Edward Island snowy view

This year I will spend time with my family in a very different setting but I hope we can retain a flicker of our past.

I extend my wishes to all who fall upon, read, and acknowledge my humble blog. Thank you for reading.

May you have a truly heart warming Holiday Season in whichever form you partake. Be gentle, and grateful for you, your friends, and family. And, if you are solo this year, take the time to connect with yourself, and celebrate. (and eat a chocolate)

I look forward to starting a New Year, here, and maybe meeting some of you.

Happy New Year!

Scarves for Animals – Helping the PEI Humane Society

It’s now December 2010 and I am resurrecting a post I did last year regarding some scarves and the PEI Humane Society. A couple new photos and an ongoing plan in time for this seasonal gift giving month! Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and all the best…


This post may seem a bit off topic with my usual posts, but not really. It’s still all about creativity and thinking outside the box.

My mother, Joan Kempton-Jeeves, is a Fibre Artist, originally from England, and has worked cleverly and artistically in weaving, wool dying, hooking, quilting, crocheting, and knitting for many years. Her work is unconventional as she enjoys “painting with her wool”. I own many beautiful sweaters, and scarves (I’m wearing one as I write), and living in Vancouver where it’s warmer than the rest of Canada I don’t always have the chance to sport my wearable art. So when the temperature dips to a wool wearing one, I’m content!

In the past couple of years my mother has been knitting steadily with the caveat that she is “cleaning up” her wool, and producing a series of beautiful scarves. Her collection has grown steadily and makes for an impressive group.

Some of Joan's scarf collection & wall hangings
Some of Joan's scarf collection & her wall hangings

My mother is also an animal lover, especially cats, and my family has had a few dear feline friends, all of who are now gone, and one token German Shepherd, who is also hanging out with the cats in animal heaven.

Fond memories of kittens born in our wood shed

So…where are we going, you may ask?

Well…sometimes my Mom likes to make donations to her local humane society, and visit the animals once in awhile, and she had a fabulous idea.

Remember those scarves I was mentioning? Well, my Mom would like to donate her scarves indirectly to the Prince Edward Island Humane Society (Canada). Indirectly means that she will give a scarf to anyone who donates at least 25.00 to the Society. These donations will go under the “Joan Kempton Scarf Fund”.

A closer sampling of the scarves
A closer sampling of Joan's scarves
Multi coloured scarf
Multi coloured scarf
Cream white scarf
Cream white scarf

That’s a pretty good deal! And, I thought it was such a good idea that I said I would help, hence, this blog post. By writing about this and encouraging those who would like to give a great present of a well-needed donation AND receive a beautiful hand knit scarf. It’s a win-win-win situation for all.

Deep Blue & Purple Scarf
Deep Blue & Purple Scarf

What do you think?

If you are interested:

Write to me at And we’ll work out the best way to accept your donation and for you to receive your scarf, and receipt.

If you have any questions about this unique fundraiser, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I am more than happy to respond or help out, and choose a scarf!

(p.s. shipping charges are extra… but, we’ll chat)

Green & Cream Scarf
Green & Cream Scarf

The Salmon of Knowledge…

“A man came to the Village Headman and pleaded for help. ‘I can’t stand it any longer. My life is sheer hell. There’s me, my wife, my children, and my in-laws all living together in a single room. We’re arguing, and complaining, and constantly at each other’s throats. It’s destroying us all.’

‘I can help if you promise to do as I say,’ said the Headman.

‘Anything. Whatever you say, I’ll do it. It can’t be worse than what I’m living with now.’

‘Very good. What livestock do you have?’

‘Two goats, a pig, a donkey, five chickens, and a turkey.’

‘Bring them all into your single room and come back to see me in a week.’

What could the man do? He had promised to do as the Headman asked. He came back a week later in a terrible state. ‘The stink! The mess! The noise. I’d be better off dead. It’s like living in a mad-house.’

‘Good!’ said the Headman. ‘Go home and throw out all the animals. Then come see me tomorrow.’

The next day the man returned with a wide smile on his face and his eyes sparkling with happiness. ‘Thank you. Thank you. It’s paradise. So clean, so quiet, and so much space to live life for me and my loved ones.’”

Boy do I relate to this story!! Yesterday, I told my partner that we needed to get some animals (small apartment!).

This is one of many stories in the book, by Nick Owen, titled “The Salmon of Knowledge” Stories for Work, Life, the Dark Shadow, and Oneself. Each tale compiled into this rich, thought-provoking read falls under a specific theme, and contains a moral. Introducing the themed chapters are personal anecdotes from the author, and suggestions of what each story might enlighten.

I was fortunate to meet Nick Owen at the Applied Improvisation Network Conference in Portland, Oregon, in November, where he delivered a compelling keynote speech on Leadership, and touching the heart. Lucky me got to have a brief chat with him the evening prior, and I knew we would be in for a treat. When I asked Nick Owen about his books and he strongly suggested “The Salmon of Knowledge” for me.

Thank you Nick!

Nick Owen delivering the Keynote Speech

If you are on a personal journey of discovery, of life paths, of “just what are we doing here”, of learning to let go, honesty, clearing, acceptance, presence, of illusion, of creativity, of self, this book is perfect. I certainly feel that way as I observe and participate in life’s challenges. Somehow, reading a story, a metaphor that applies to situations in my life helps me to adjust my perspective in a positive way. Or, it just helps me to see that there is another perspective!

Story telling is our most effective way of sharing our experiences. I hope you get a chance to have the thoughtful pleasure I am still having as I read, and re-read this unique collection.

For a little more about Nick Owen’s keynote speech,  read  from “GameChangers“,  Applied Improvisation Conference Speaker, Mike Bonifer.