compass & hatchet

On the road to fortitude

Category: reflection

Sunday’s Photos

I have been wrist deep in the Garden lately, and completely neglecting most things. Such is life in spring time. Things are really starting to grow, and it’s super exciting, but also nerve wracking because this is our first farmers market year and its hard to tell how much is enough. Live and Learn is on repeat in my head to try to not stress out too much about not getting it right.










Dream Machine

I’ve been day dreaming about writing in my journal, whilst sitting in the bath tub and drinking a coffee.

It donned in me yesterday that this could be done so simply, by putting a board across the tub sides. Why didn’t I do this sooner?



It made me think about how I often have these ideas, or dreams, but I don’t do anything about them because I am missing certain parts ( A fancy bathtub table thing that someone somewhere made..?? )  Sometimes I miss stuff I’ve asked for because it doesn’t look the way it looked in my mind.

Now I can sit happily in a hot bath, and write to my hearts content. Dream Machine.

Water Melon Magic

I’ve been stuck in a creative rut. For months. Many months. I have been sifting through my way of living, my history of poor choices, and working on being a “better” person. To love my self. To eradicate the self sabotaging tendencies and internal criticism. Catch up with my inner child, find out where along the way she picked up the all baggage she carries with her. And of course working on being vulnerable, honest, present, ( The list goes on)  I am working… but my self-help occupation hasn’t been helpful in my “work” … my creative drive… although making Art is a therapy all it’s own. I felt like I had so much to say, but didn’t know how to express it. How to communicate the feelings of change, pain, insecurities, loneliness. How to connect with other people, about this stage in my life, through something visual, tangible…… I just didn’t know where to start. So I didn’t.

This is where the water melons came from. In one of those moments of needing to create something, say something…  I  sat down, with some paint and paper and painted the first thing that came into my head. Then I painted it again, and again, over and over, a meditation, a rhythm, an addictive gesture. Something so simple,  child like, and FUN. I would wake up in the morning and the first thing I would think about was painting Water Melons. Just as simply as that I felt engaged in creative thoughts again. Now I am back to painting everyday, silly quirky things (Love birds, and Cockatiels, Whales, Cats, and Hot sauces ) Nothing new, or groundbreaking, but I am forming a habit, having a practice. Water Melons were my gate-way drug to being back in the swing of it. I know that eventually I’ll be ready to make work that represents some of the harder feelings I’ve been going through. That how I will express and share will come to me….  I am just not there yet… and that’s ok too.

In the meantime I’ll oblige the child, and make art that feels fun. Because fun is important too, right gang??

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Pam McCartney – Creative Crush


Pam. I can’t actually remember the first time that I spoke to Pam, but I can guarantee you that she made me smile immediately. Pam happens to be one of the most positive, friendly and welcoming people that I have ever met. She hasn’t lived a life void of challenges and adversity, but she certainly hasn’t let her hardships stand in the way of being an exuberant, charismatic, and open community member, wife, artist, photographer, dog lover, and so much more. This is why Pam McCartney is my first “Creative Crush”. (name subject to change)

I am going to work on having some regular projects to write about, and taking the time to write about people who really inspire and move me has been on my mind to do now for a while.

But, back to Pam and her work. Not too long ago, Pam, her husband, and her fur family members relocated to Manatoba, where she originally hails from. She has always had a unique artistic voice, using collage/mixed media, drawing inspiration from daisy’s, dolls, humour, and the life that surrounds her. Pam’s current settings, along with walks with her adorable dog Laylee, have inspired some outstanding photography as of late.

So I asked Pam some questions, and she gave me some answers.

and now, you can read them!

Who are you and what is your star sign?
I am Pam McCartney and I am a fabulous Sagittarius! ;o)

Where are you from OR where do you live?
I was born in Winnipeg, MB…spent 15 years on the West coast, 6 of those on
beautiful Gabriola Island, BC. I think of myself as an island girl…for always and
forever. But presently, I live in Winnipeg Beach, MB…with my hubby Clint, 17 year old kitty Wednesday and a crazy young horse/dog named Laylee. ;o)


What do you do?
I spend much of my daytimes adventuring about at and near the beach, hanging out taking pictures, relaxing in the sand (in the summer) and finding treasures all along the way.

What Inspires your work?
For sure nature and all that it is…plants, animals, water reservoirs big and small and everything else that is living. There is beauty in all life. and that beauty gives me great joy and sometimes I feel so happy to notice some of the special things I see. Well then I just have to try and capture that feeling in a photo to share with others and hope they too get that good inside feeling. Heart good.

What/who are your artistic influences?
I am influenced greatly by colour and texture. When I see paintings (by any artist) that are vibrant my eyes want to feast on it. And even more so if there are mountain peaks of paint that make those colours stand out from the canvas…texture is soooooo good! Of course it’s not just paintings that I love to be exposed to…all art…fused glass, felting, photography, pottery, crazy needle point and jewelry. There are so many talented people out there that it is just so great to feel influenced by everyone you meet that creates these things…even “meeting” through the internet. AS much as I will sometimes disregard or slam technology, it opens up a larger world to see and enjoy a vast variety of artists from all over the world.

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What would be your dream project?
Having the funds to blow up some of my favourite images into huge prints…then collaborate with other artists and having them interpret those images in their paint or ceramics or silver jewellery or illustration. Like an “en plain air” project of various artists sitting in front of my oversized images and creating and interpreting the image. And have a big old art show with all of it together…that would be fun.

What is the best advice you have been given?
don’t worry about your art selling…just make the images you want to see.

Do you have any vices?
yes…Miss Vickie’s sea salt and malt vinegar chips. oh…and marijuana. 😉

Name something that you love and why?
I love love love LOVE daisies! They make my soul feel happy…especially fields of white daisies growing by the thousands. So beautiful. A daisy is a strong flower that can grow in any condition…rocky ground, lush soil, side of highways, meadows, gravel driveways. A daisy is a happy flower…it is always used to portray peace and joy and bliss. They can bloom for a long time…even being rained on they are still standing up strong. They have a very natural smell…stinky but good.


Why do you create?
Because I can and it is fun and is something that gives me joy.

What Super Power would you have?
The ability to fly. I have so many dreams where I am able to fly over water, fly over towns, fly up high into the sky way way way up there. It would be pretty sweet.

How do you know when a work is finished?
With photography it’s easy because I have the image I wanted taken but then I mount and wax and put it up ion the wall. I’d say that is finished. Playing with clay or working on mixed media collage…when is it really finished. Sometimes I feel you could always go back into something to make it “better”. It’s just finding the “this looks great” feeling even if you could do more if you really wanted to. Ugh. lol

Do you ever experience times of being uninspired, and if you do, is there any thing that you do that gets you back into the groove?
Going for a walk and breathing in the smells of the outdoors generally always lift me out of a slump.

Do you have any daily routines?
adventure times…walking Laylee the dog. She is really learning to have patience with me…I’m always stopping to get a shot in. There is always something that takes my breath away and I feel the need to capture that feeling. And sometimes it is Laylee looking so fine out on the water or green green grass.


Is there anything you are obsessed with? That you think about more than anything else?
I’m obsessed with some of the amazing photo editing apps on my phone. You can have so much fun playing with photos and going them a cool ethereal feeling…like a fairy tale. My hubby loves to say he sees more of the back of my head than anything else. It’s not THAT bad!! ha ha ha ha…Oh…I almost forgot about the Water Tower. I am obsessed…really obsessed with it. I must have hundreds…maybe more even…pictures of the water tower. Cloudy days, sunny days, wavy days,snowy days, foggy days, sunrise, sunset…I love taking pics of the water tower. It has its very own hashtag. #myobsessionwiththewatertowercontinues ;o)

What is your most prized possession?
I feel I could get rid of anything ever since our move back to Mantioba. After spending one month in a tent trailer with nothing but some clothes…my favourite houseplants and our animals, all of the “stuff” that was in a container making its way across the country didn’t matter anymore. But…I take all of my photos with my iPhone. So, if I lost that I would be very sad as I couldn’t even replace it till my contract was over and could get a new phone! ba ha ha ha ha. ;o)


What would be your Theme Song?
“I’m walking on Sunshine” at least on the days when I am feeling happy. Which is a lot. ;o)

What’s the first thing you would do if you won 1 million dollars?
Pay off debt and hop on the next flight to Fiji bringing Clint of course and Laylee and Wensday. We’d have to find an on the ocean hut that allowed pets! ;o)

Are you happy?
Yes…most of the time. I have days where I can feel depressed about stuff. But I usually try and pull myself out of that because I would way rather have a fun day than not. ;o)


Check Pam out on her instagram: @pamichen -Youtube: Daisygroove

Me, Myself, and I

I always go back and forth about that this online”space” is.

Is it an online journal, or a place to collect and keep track of what I am doing “Artistically”.

Since I became an Instagram addict about 3 years ago, I find that my desire to put photos somewhere public, of my Art, Life and whatever, and have total strangers look at them, is satisfied. With much less writing. Much less attaching camera to laptop. Much less frustration over figuring out how to actually make a blog look the way I want it too. I guess that’s the thing about phones now, they are so easy and portable and in your pocket when ever you step under a beautiful sunset, or your dog strikes a pose, or your drinking a coffee by yourself, pretending to enjoy a moment alone, but checking your phone to see if anyone messaged because you are actually lonely.

“Portfolio” or “confessional”

What I love about the internet is being able to sneak peeks/snoop into other peoples lives (or the lives people contrive and show) Of their art works, homes, closets. Their accomplishments, of their struggles and general acts of being human, in a world where we share everything. It’s in-depth people watching, from the comfort of my own home.

I also find lately, that living in a small town, away from “home” and a creative community, that I turn to the internet a lot more with questions, inspiration and culture.

The ever growing common occurrence for many people (my self 100% included) is that you start to feel like your life kinda sucks compared to everyone else’s.  Sometimes, I feel left out. I feel like I am not accomplishing enough. I feel like I am not enough.

I am Enough.

So what am I trying to convey here with Compass and Hatchet? What need is having an online journal or presence satisfying?  Why would people want to read what I have to say? … and so on…

I have always loved journaling, and taking photos and having an audience (I’ll be the first to admit that I love attention.) And I am really into the idea of “checking in” of having assignments and structure. So this is the new direction I am taking with having a Blog.

I am committing to writing weekly. To giving myself assignments. To contributing to the internet’s lure of seeing in to the life of a total stranger, and to hopefully, connect. To someone, anyone, to everyone, who is like me.

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