slow blog // August 2016

Change is in the air!

I love, love, love Fall. I love how it switches things up: the temperature, the colour of the leaves, the amount of light, the schedule. I say, bring it on. I want to move ahead, but first -- I want to take a minute to look back at August and at what I did with it in my Slow Blog sketchbook. 

The octopus above is from a bag I had been hanging on to for ages, that some tee shirts came in from ShirtWoot. (The original illustrator is Walmazan.)

Of those four goals listed on the page above, I'll admit I really only did one of them: prep for Creative Soul Weekend. I didn't work on my business plan at all, I only spent a minimum of time on our home, and I took care of myself the bare minimum to get by. It's true what they say, that you can only have one priority at a time. (I suppose the other unwritten priority is my day job.) 

I took these photos of the sketchbook pages on Florence Beach. It's one of my favourite spots to go be by the water and relax. In fact, I took the June Slow Blog photos there too, but the light is pretty different in these shots. 

August was a quiet month in the sketchbook because it was a fairly busy month in real life. 

On the left: The "Easy as Pie" lettering is cut from a Chatelaine magazine. You'll see that phrase turn up next month when I put Leah Wechsler's editorial calendar into gear. I thought it was neat that it turned up in my mailbox around when she and I worked together. The chopstick sleeve is from Naru, the new sushi restaurant in Sydney. I go there for a treat sometimes. 

On the right: My friends Mary and Dallas got married last month. It was a beautiful, small and down-home ceremony. Their wedding favours were little envelopes filled with wildflower seeds, which I just love and can't wait to plant in my garden. 

Leah Wechsler sent me a little notecard to thank me for working with her, and that's on the left. Jacquie Blanchard sent me a package from New Zealand, and that's on the right. 

Also in August, I made a new friend! Her name is Jay Rawding and she's also a graphic designer. Emily Rankin and I went to visit with her mid-month. It was inspiring and lovely and I'm looking forward to getting to know her more. And then on the right is a round-up of what August was. 

So my Slow Blog experiment is changing! I mentioned in June that I hired my friend Leah Wechsler of Creative, She Wrote to work with me on an editorial calendar for my blog and help me set up a new blogging schedule. I plan to blog more frequently -- posting once a week, starting in October. I think I will keep the Slow Blog sketchbook going until the end of 2016, to make it a full year, but I think I will look at doing one or two pages per month instead of multiple pages. 

I'm preparing for October by setting aside a weekend this month to just write, and I'm excited to get back in the blogging groove. Leah's help made all the difference!

How was your August? I hope you're having a creative and invigorating September so far. See you next month!

In case you're brand new to my blog and to my slow blog experiment of 2016, here are the previous posts: the post on why I'm trying this experiment for a year, and then the slow blog posts for JanuaryFebruaryMarchAprilMayJune and July.

slow blog // July 2016

July, July, July. You were fast - over so soon. And packed with goodness. 

I took the photos this month in the sweet little park near where I work, called the Baille Ard Trails. I did each page against a different background, and some I held up against things. It was fun to experiment with that! I'm so enjoying this slow blogging... and just the chance to be playful.

(And in case you're brand new to my blog and my slow blog experiment of 2016, here are the previous posts: the post on why I'm trying this experiment for a yearthen the slow blog posts forJanuaryFebruaryMarchApril, May, and June.)

The drawing of me in the above page is from this Instagram picture. 

This page above, and the next three pages, are drafts of blog posts/newsletters for the Creative Soul Weekend. That's a retreat for women that myself and my friend Emily Rankin organize together. It's coming up in September and I urge you to get on the mailing list to find out when we open registration and make sure you can come!! It's a lot of fun. 


In July I joined the Being Boss Clubhouse. It's $30 USD a month, which I consider an investment in my business. I'm loving the conversations and connections that happen in there! This page below was from one of the podcast episodes, the one about the chalkboard method. I also have the other page of that worksheet in my sketchbook, but I decided not to share it here because it's got some of my business stuff on it, like clients and projects, that aren't ready to share yet. 

Strangely enough, I had discovered the artist Frances Cannon through Instagram about 2 days before I made the collage below. When I looked to see who had illustrated the woman hugging herself (which I found in a copy of Chatelaine), it was Frances Cannon! Weird...

And that's July! It's a wrap. Onwards to August. 

slow blog // June 2016

Time FLIES. At least, it has been lately.

I'm working at slowing things down a bit, which, yeah, I know, sounds like a broken record. But, that's OK. I get a monthly letter from a business coach I've worked with in the past, where she shares with her subscribers how the month is going for her, the numbers and all the nitty gritty, and I was reflecting the other day that a lot of what she says each month is "this month was crazy! I want to slow things down next month". Seeing it in someone else makes me feel less self-conscious about saying the same thing myself, though. I mean, yeah, it's repetitive. But it's the truth. It's the truth of having your own business and learning as you go - and really, the truth of being human and learning as you go. 

Anyway, in next month's slow blog post I hope to have more detail to share about what I'm going to cut out, what I'm going to take to the next level, and all that good stuff. 

For now, though, here are June's slow blog pages! I took the slow blog book to Florence Beach to take the photos of it this month, for the roses and the sand background. Here and here are the photos on Instagram of that evening. 

(And in case you're brand new to my blog and my slow blog experiment of 2016, here are the previous posts: the post on why I'm trying this experiment for a year, then the slow blog posts for JanuaryFebruaryMarchApril and May.)

I really loved the book "The Paris Letters." I can't remember how I heard about it -- probably Instagram, since that's where I'm spending my social media time these days -- but I got it through the library.

Then in mid-July Adam and I flew off to Chicago! Here and here are previous years' trips to that amazing city. Our connection with it is: Adam lived there from age 13 to age 27, because his family moved there for work. He's not American, but since those were the identity-forming years of his life, he really feels like a Chicagoan. We go every year (or at least, have done so for the last three years of our 5-year relationship) and I can see us moving there someday. I love it. (Although, I know I'd miss Cape Breton like crazy.)

Starred/highlighted places in the map above are the places we were. 

We have our little rituals that have developed over the three years we've been going together to Chicago and the suburbs. These mementos are from our favourite restaurants and stores. 

We were there for a wedding! These rad folks were the photographers and here is a sneak peek from their Instagram at the wedding photos which I can't wait to see more of. 

Wedding paraphenalia.

I had printed-out boarding passes because my phone died en route through Montreal! I dropped it on the floor and when I went to pick it up, no dice. But I actually like printed boarding passes - I like the design of them, and then being able to keep them. 

The page above mentions two things I want to link to:

  • Write Anyway with Janelle Hanchett: I took this course from mid-May to the end of June. I really didn't have time for it, but I had arranged it back in March and so sort of just did it anyway - sometimes half-assed, but I showed up and did it. I have been missing writing! So it kicked my ass into writing once a week for six weeks, and sharing my work with the others in the class. It reminded me of all that I love about writing, so spoiler alert -- one of the things I want to make more time for is writing. 
  • Magazine of Your Business with Leah Wechsler: Related to the above, my biz bestie and I were talking over Skype a few weeks ago about writing blog posts, and her expertise, and we decided it was time to go one further than just being biz besties: I decided to hire her. In July/August, I'll be working with her to help me put together a content strategy for this little site and my business. I'm really excited about it (once I got over my own guilt/shame for not being able to Do It All Myself - which, hello, that's life). I will keep you posted on how it goes!  

Playing with my old compass to make circles.

I read The Power of Habit (a recommendation from my friend Mary - hi Mary!) and LOVED it. 

I went to see Finding Dory and also LOVED it. 

A page from The Power of Habit (above).

I was tidying up my office and found this note that Maya Henry had sent me back when It's Business Time ended. 

Inspired by Joy the Baker's Summer Bucket List post, I decided to write one for myself. I kept it short-ish, so I might actually accomplish all of the things on the list. It was fun to dream up.

Part of the Nikki McClure 2016 calendar's June page.

And that's what's been going on! Thanks as always for staying in touch and gracing this little corner of the Internet with your presence. I'm so grateful. See you next month!