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Wow! Pride!

So, yeah…  Wow!  What a day.

I’m honestly way too exhausted to type much.  Event after event today.  And I’m too wiped to think.  So, here’s a quick video of the girl practicing, as we sit on the ACC’s float, before the parade got moving.  And I promise, once I’ve had some sleep and transferred the photos to my computer?  I’ll share more.  😀

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The Baby Crow

Every year our yard serves as a playground for at least one baby crow (sometimes two, depending on how many eggs the parents hatch).  We have had one die in our yard, which broke our hearts.  Not everyone is as gentle or appreciative of these incredible birds, and some folk will do what we consider to be unspeakable things given the chance.  But generally our encounters with them are positive.  Today, we even got to witness the joy of seeing our current crow baby take one of it’s first successful flights.  It caught me off guard at first – and so I didn’t follow it as easily as I would have, but you can see it soar on the clip I managed to snag.  Once they get started, it doesn’t take them long to master it at all.  Pretty darn cool.  😀

We really do love and respect these beautiful animals.  They’ve always held great significance for me.  And I truly treasure every interaction we are lucky enough to have with them.  We are very blessed that they have chosen our yard to come back to year and year again.

See y’all at the Pride Parade tomorrow!!!  Look for me!  I’ll the one dressed all in yellow on the Avenue Community Center’s float, and you can’t miss the girl!  I’ve done up a rainbow tutu and headpiece for the girl, she says she’s the Rainbow Bride.  😀  Spent the day sewing her stuff and my skirt.  It’s gonna be EPIC!

Happy PRIDE Week Saskatoon!

Welcome to the 20th anniversary of Pride week in Saskatoon!  Yep.  20 years of Pride.  It’s a pretty amazing thing.

I’ve only been attending for five or six years now…  maybe seven.  But even in that short a time, the leaps and bounds taken have been amazing.  I remember it only being a handful of people out, but we are now seeing thousands of people every year – and the number is growing exponentially every year.  It really is an amazing thing!

So, here’s a brief run down on a few of my favourite Pride events:

Picnic in the Park (formerly known as Family Day) – Sunday June 10th, 11:00 till 4:00 @ Kinsmen Park.  Burgers and hotdogs available for $2, pop for $1.  There are always lots of fun games for the kids, as well as face painting.  And this year there will also be a softball game for the “grownups”.  Bring a blanket, or just hang out on the grass.  🙂

Welcome to the Gaybourhood – Wednesday June 13th, 12:00 till 3:00 on 21st Street West between Ave C and D.  Free Burgers and hotdogs.  Free live music and performance art.  This one is always a lot of fun – and I’ve been there every year since it’s first.  Is this three or four now?  LOL  I can’t remember.

Mosaic Art & Fashion Show – Wednesday June 13th, 7:00 until midnight @ the Albert Community Center, 610 Clarence Ave S.  Tickets are $15 at the door.  This will actually be the first year I’ve attended this show.  I’ve always wanted to, but the timing just never worked out for me before.  And even better?  I’ll actually be debuting several pieces from my Power of SHe project at the show.  So you’ll definitely want to come out for this one.  Lots of great art will be available for purchase (including mine).

Pride Parade and Community Fair – Saturday June 16th, 12:00 till 7:00 @ Victoria Park.  The parade starts at 1:00 and the entertainment on the free stage will be starting up at about 2:15.  Beer gardens, lots of vendors (both food and awesome wares), some fabulous community and non-profit groups will be there with info…  It’s always an amazing time.  So come on out!  As this years Pride theme says, “OUT is IN!”

There are lots more events as well – these are just my personal “must attends”.  You can get all the details at http://www.saskatoonpride.ca/.  And remember:  You don’t have to identify as a member of the acronym community to attend.  Allies are HUGELY important, and everyone is welcome!

 

OUT is IN - Saskatoon's 2012 Pride Week

 

Tonight, my friends…

Tonight, my friends, is a very simple blog post.  I’m far too exhausted to do more.  Actually, I went down for a nap at about six, and fell asleep without taking any melatonin.  Seriously, I don’t nap because I don’t fall asleep without taking it.  And I napped.  Would have stayed out for the night too if I hadn’t needed to get up to put the girl to bed.  LOL

I’ve just been pretty wiped lately.  Lots of things needing my attention in preparation for the Pride art show.  In the end, I’ve decided to keep it simple, and may actually be doing rather small scale printing too.  It turns out I may be able to have one of the square support pillars in the space – which would be an interesting way to break up my work and display multiple smaller pieces.  I generally prefer larger scale work.  Nothing like a photograph at 20×24 or larger to inspire thought and discussion…  but I do like the idea of keeping things clean and being able to display more pieces than I’d have been able to otherwise.  So we’ll see.

Okay, off to bed for me.  I’m just far too exhausted to be on here right now.

Night all!  Be good to one another!

Preparing for an Art Show

I’ve been working through how I intend to display the couple pieces I’ll be doing up for inclusion in the PRIDE art show mid-June.  Working in a digital medium, as I do, it’s very different when it comes time to talk about print mediums and mounting.  I’ve got a couple ideas for how to display the pieces I’ve chosen – but we’ll see.

In an instance like this, where there is a strong message that is conveyed by an art piece, mounting isn’t as simple as gallery wrap canvas, giclee, frame, or foam board.  The mount has to maintain the truth that is being spoken, but not overrun it with a message of it’s own.  It’s trickier than one might think.  And to be honest, I’m putting as much thought into the mounting of these photographs as I did into their creation and capturing.

Time is sneaking up far too quickly for my comfort level though.  Very soon there’ll be no time left at all, and I’ll be in a panic.  LOL  It really is getting to be crunch time.  Time to figure out measurements, and processes.  Time to begin piecing it all together.  I’m excited, are you?

Amazing what a difference half a decade makes!

On Friday, I received my new drivers license in the mail.  A lot has changed since I had taken my previous DL photo.  Not just in my life, but procedurally as well.

Now they require a new photo every five years.  I think it used to be every seven (but don’t quote me on that).  It used to be you could wear glasses, smile, act and be natural in your photo.  Now, even if you wear glasses full time they have to be off, and not only are you not allowed to crack a toothy grin, you aren’t allowed to smile at all.  But, as you’ll note from my new license, a wry smirk is perfect acceptable.

My Driver's License Photo - Old and New

My Driver’s License Photo – Old and New

 

I have to admit…  when I received my new license and pulled the old one from my wallet, I stopped and stared at the photos for a while.  What a difference roughly half a decade makes.  The first photo was before I was married, before Lily-Ann was even a vague idea.  It was before I’d changed focus from my work as an expert in Canine Communication to Professional Photographer.  I voted Green back then, but wasn’t a member of the party, and would never dream I would run the provincial party and run for office during a provincial election, a national election, and a provincial by-election.  It was before I returned to my roots and realized how much I missed working with youth.  I hadn’t outed myself as a former victim of sexual assault, and was ashamed of the fact that I had FMS and IBS.  It was a very different me – who was plagued by social anxiety disorder and had a specially trained Service Dog because I couldn’t leave the house alone.

Now?  Wow.  There really isn’t much of that girl left.

I chose my wording carefully, the use of “girl” wasn’t an accident.  I was a girl.  I was a nervous, scared, girl.  I hid it pretty well from most folk…  but I really did live my life scared that I’d be found out, that someone would realize I wasn’t actually good enough to be worthwhile.

I said it once already, but for emphasis, I’ll say it again:  What a difference roughly half a decade makes.

Now?  I’m probably a little too self-assured…  I’m actually downright cocky.  LOL  I know that who I am matters, and what I do makes a difference.  I’m a proud woman.  Confident and ready to tackle pretty much anything that comes my way.  I live out loud, and tend to over share.  Want to know something about me?  Ask.  I’m not afraid and will happily talk to anyone about anything.  I’m doing some pretty amazing things.

Someone asked me if I felt old now that I’ve turned 35, and you know what?  I totally don’t.  I feel like life is just beginning.  I’ve just hit my stride.

 

A2Z – Tobi-Dawne is Turning Thirtyfive

Blogging our way from A to Z on sexual and gender identity - Tobi-Dawne is Turning Thirtyfive

 

Today I celebrated my birthday, and like the title states, I’m now 35.  I got some lovely gifts (beautiful bedding from my parents, a very cool infusion mug and a bunch of loose leaf herbal fruit teas from my Auntie Risa, a lovely card and $25 to spoil myself with from my Grampa and Grandma Joan, and a stylin’ size Pinkie Pie from my baby girl and my man), but more important was the time spent with those I love.  My mom and dad bbq’d steaks – nice and dark the way I like ‘um – made salad, and baked potatoes…  and the girlie and my dad even baked me a birthday cake.  All in all it was a wonderful afternoon and evening.  🙂

And now for my gift to all of you!

To celebrate my birthday, I’ve arranged for discount codes from a few different artisans on Etsy.  YAY!

Earlier this week a couple of packages arrived from two different vendors – each containing beautiful, hand-made, pride flower pins.  The first to arrive was a pin from Dorothy.  It’s a beautiful canvas pin that I am currently wearing on my purse while I test drive it for durability.  And while I was concerned that it might be a little delicate to handle it, it survived being mauled by my daughter’s pre-k classmates as they all wanted to touch it’s petals and tell me which was their favourite colour.

pride flower by dorothydesigns on etsy

The flower, by dorothydesigns, on my purse.

I absolutely love this piece.  I know the white in the center won’t stand up to the rugged wear I tend to dish out, but it is beautiful and well-made, just the same.  Dorothy is offering all of you a coupon code worth 10% off anything in her etsy store.  The code is TD2012 and it expires May 15th.  You can find her lovely work at http://www.etsy.com/shop/dorothydesigns.  And if you’re looking for this pin?  You’ll find it listed as the Kanzashi Pride Boutonniere…  which is basically “Fancy Nancy” for fabric flower pin.  😉

The second package to arrive came with an extra surprise.  Peggie sent me TWO pins!  One of which is her take on a Kanzashi pin – which will make it’s debut in her etsy shop in the next few days:

Peggie's felt flower design

The first flower by PegPlush.

Peggie’s Kanzashi pride flower is a lot more heavy-duty and I know it could stand up to the rigors of daily wear on a backpack or diaper bag quite easily.  It’s made out of felt, and can take some serious damage while still looking great!  I love hand-made items, but it’s rare to find a piece that can take some punishment and come away looking just fine – and this one definitely can.  It’s awesome!  I’d have no problem popping this one on the kid’s bag and would trust it to last.  Heck, it survived some mauling itself – and even got doused in water… and came through looking like I’d just taken it out of the package!

The second flower by PegPlush.

The second flower Peggie sent me ended up being a little bigger than I first thought it would be – but that only makes it all the more fun and bold!  I love all the beading and hand-stitched accents too.  And while it’s also a pin?  I found myself clipping this one in my hair.  With my super short locks it made quite the statement.  😉

Peggie is also generously offering you all a 20% discount on anything in her store (which includes some awesome, kitchy, felt panty designs too).  Just use the code PEGPRIDE.  You can find her at http://www.etsy.com/shop/PegPlush.

The last coupon code comes from Trish (who is also celebrating her birthday today).  Now, I haven’t had a chance to handle her work myself, but based on her photographs I definitely like what I’ve seen.  She’s a stained glass artist!  Check out her work at http://www.etsy.com/shop/GlassMonkeyArts and enter the code TDBLOG15 to receive %15 off.

So…  I’m 35.  Everyone kinda made a fuss over the fact that I’m “old”…  but I laughed and told them that 35 is the new 25, just like 50 is the new 40.  Aging doesn’t scare me or bother me.  It’s just proof that I’ve done my fair share of living, and I’m looking forward to continuing doing just that.  😉

PRIDE WEEK – Saskatoon’s Pride Parade!

Well, here we are.  The end of Pride week here in Saskatoon.  It really is my favourite week of the year.  A chance to make some new friends, and connect with those I rarely see the other 11 and 3/4 months of the year.  Pride week fills me with hope, and I truly KNOW that things are getting better.  Each year our numbers are stronger and our colours brighter.  I look forward to the time when we can live PRIDE every day – and I know that it is coming.

Want to see my post post-parade last year?  Here it is:  Leave the Politics at the Door.

Being at the parade and fair in an official capacity was a new experience for me this year.  As coordinator for Camp fYrefly I was there to set up our booth, organize volunteers, and get our group all set up to march in the parade.  It was a lot of fun, but it meant we were there a lot earlier than we’re used to.  And it also meant that I didn’t get to do my usual tour of tables.  I kinda missed out on hunting down all the coolest stuff, and checking out all the latest from the fair vendors…  which I confess, I do regret.  And after the parade, the girlie had just had enough, so we weren’t able to stay till the end as I’d originally planned.  Thankfully Derrick was there, and so graciously offered to man the table for the last couple of hours without me.  I am sooo grateful for his help today.  He was awesome!

The girlie was tired before we even arrived.  She has her “sleepover night” with my parents every Friday…  which meant she was up SUPER early today (they wake up WAY too freakin’ early at that house).  So by 10:00 when we swung by to grab her, she was already several hours into her day (at home she wakes up about 8:30 or 9:00).  So yeah…  tired girl before we even got started – which made for a much harder day than I’d have liked.

Thankfully (because he was there to help with the girlie) this was Damon’s first year at the Pride Parade and Street Fair.  He has always had to work the Saturday it was held, but this year, the start of his holidays coincided with the event.  So it was a real treat to have him there.  He’s not much for crowds, so I know he felt totally out of his element, but I appreciated that he came.  I think he’d have loved Pride back in the day when there were only a couple hundred folk out.  LOL

So…  here are a few pictures.  I’d hoped to grab a family photo with the three of us all in our Camp fYrefly gear:  Lily-Ann in the dress I made, me in my altered t-shirt, and Damon in his…  but, like I said:  cranky girlie.  LMAO  And without being free to wander at will, pretty much all my photos were of the fYrefly crew.  But I snapped away, just the same.  🙂

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PRIDE WEEK – Gay Latte, a Success!

Just a real quick post.  I’m soooo ready for bed.  LOL

Gay Latte was a complete success.  A fabulous evening, amazing talent, all for a great cause:  Camp fYrefly.

Tonight, we raised $314.75!  Thanks to all our readers, and everyone who donated.  We made enough to send a youth to camp tonight.  Well done!

PRIDE WEEK – Family Day at the Park

Well, it’s one of my favourite times of the year again.  😀  Pride Week!  And today we headed down to Victoria park (beside the South Saskatchewan River in Saskatoon).  It really was a fabulous event – even better than last years.  Lots of great folks, great food, and great fun.  There was tons of the kids to do too, which was really awesome.  Here are a few pics:

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It really is fun to just sit back and let the girlie go at an event like this.  Where no one is a stranger, and we’re all there for the same reasons – to celebrate who we are.  Fast friends, everyone.  A fabulous, safe, and completely supportive environment.  It really was an absolutely fabulous time.  🙂

Tomorrow it will be Gay Latte, and guess what?!?!?  McNally Robinson is actually creating a special “gay latte” that will be served at the event.  How fun is that?  Prior to the event, yours truly (as a member of the Camp fYrefly team) will be hosting a press conference to discuss Camp fYrefly and how vital programming like ours is to youth today.  Gay Latte will be in the cafe, and the media event will be in the alcove.  Hope to see you there!

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=218938528123810

 

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