past year in song

Just found this sitting in drafts from a few years ago, a time before I bothered to figure — out. There’s actually a fair bit sitting in drafts.

I like lists. And comparing lists. Which means I should start putting together another one for this year.


march is upon us and the past year on a mixtape would be this…

good morning–
afro blue–robert glasper feat. erykah badu
safe and sound–capital cities (carlos serrano remix)

san francisco–the mowgli’s
burn–ellie goulding
alive–empire of the sun

everything–erykah badu
dust to dust–the civil wars

retrograde–james blake
lost and found–lianne la havas
transatlanticism–death cab for cutie

the way–jill scott
thinkin bout you–frank ocean
here with me–susie suh x robot koch
at last–etta james

hello 2016


carmel . chiang mai . vancouver
kenting . ymerbukta . taipei
singapore . san francisco . oslo

Apart from Chiang Mai where I lived for the month of October in 2014, these are a few of the places I was lucky enough to spend time in this past year—being in nature, catching up with old friends, encountering new ones.

naturepiles - 139
2015 concluded in Hong Kong with #naturepile 127


It was strangely a year of equal high highs and low lows. Came across these words recently in The Grand Paradox. Continuing to work on the latter.

Last Import - 1—Wystma/Kierkegaard

This year holds more additions of north american gems to the naturepile collection. East coast (and unexpectedly west again) I’m coming for ya! Midwest, fingers crossed, but I do need to finish up my school photo series. Squeezing in some koala spotting time as well as other projects in the works.

It’ll be an interesting one.

Where will 2016 lead you?

Stop from time to time to reflect, make a naturepile or two, and send some love. Have a creative and adventureful year.


Rumpueng Community Art Space


I’m spending the month of October here as one of two artists in residence. It’s my first time in Chiang Mai and this place is just beautiful. In the 4 days I’ve been here, I’ve gotten a whirlwind tour of the area around Rumpueng: three wats, the Chiang Mai University’s campus and Faculty of Fine Art buildings (they have stone carving class!), museums, cafes, neighbourhood eateries… and met artists from near and far.

This is my work area before I unpacked all my art materials. Getting used to how much space is available and planning on doing some larger scale pieces.


I was able to sit in on a life drawing class with some second year uni students that took place at Rumpueng. They concluded the session with a class shindig–a Thai bbq. Such a lovely time with them and of course delicious food.



Am also enjoying

Catch day to day happenings on instagram.



return of the mac(k)

Remember this song? Brings me back to a certain place and time.

My mac has finally returned home…minus everything that was originally on it–inside and out. Turns out I’m more attached to my computer than I realized but this month apart I’ve learned several things:

  • there is ample time in the evening to draw, read, and run
  • applecare is a good idea
  • phone conversations with apple support are surprisingly enjoyable
  • waiting until you have to part with your computer to finally back it up is not the wisest of things
  • 3-5 days is never 3-5 days



round two

and day two of the new school year.

The moss graffitti never took last year so this is what’s going on right now…

Flagged - 1

a moss transplant!

Perhaps this will be more successful and start growing over the maple syrup concoction that is still visible.

The rest of the morning was service day for faculty and staff. A group of us went down to Chungking Mansions to help out at a refugee centre.  We sorted two rooms full of boxes of donated clothes for families who were coming in the afternoon. Orientation time well spent.

year end thoughts

This was supposed to be an end of year reflection but NZ happened rather quickly post school and then the morning photo series needed some attending to first. How convenient.

It’s now a little under a week left of summer break and finally getting around to putting some things down. Better late than never eh?


I love starting out each school day looking up at a piece of the sky and watching the clouds breathe. Just standing there, taking it in and seeing how different things are each day yet at the same time remaining so familiar. It can feel a lot like life and a lot like school. Amidst the routine of things, what students bring and what we as educators bring each day when we come together to learn makes it what it is. Some days it’s subtle and some days blatantly apparent. Some days absolutely amazing, some ridiculously challenging. Whatever unfolds, we’re together…looking, learning, wondering and being amazed at this ever changing place we call school.

As all school years go, it did not fail to be an eventful one. It was packed with learning of course along with accreditation, re-visiting old initiatives, new initiatives, changes in our leadership and what seemed to be a million other happenings. A fair bit of travelling for work took place as well which led to some wonderful learning experiences. Teaching internationally definitely provides vast opportunities in a variety of environments. From art conferences to leadership and teacher conferences to supporting our HS GIN students at their conference–I was inspired by and learned from many exceptional educators. It’s encouraging to engage with people who care so deeply about their students and love what they do and choose to come together to learn, share, and connect.

So realizations this past year? In list form of course : ) …

  • Accept the constraints of a schedule and fully experience the joy of the process instead of constantly feeling rushed and focused on output.  Creativity and learning reveals itself through many avenues.

  • If we’re going to dedicate time to something, we must ensure that we are thoughtful, purposeful and intentional.

  • Consistently dialogue about our art/work and process, reflect and value time for reflection.

  • Questioning our discoveries and journey helps make connections in our thinking and with others.

  • Communicating ideas and building experiences together creates community.

  • Information is better received when packaged well and presented with thought and care. Helping people feel informed is powerful and enabling them to come to their own decisions and actions is more conducive to real growth and change.

Art is a way of seeing the world and encompasses our learning. The similarities in teaching art and working with adults in the realm of professional learning is daily becoming more apparent to me. Seth Godin wrote, “Art isn’t a result; it’s a journey. The challenge of our time is to find a journey worthy of your heart and your soul.”  We help guide our students each day in recognizing what is worthy and I hope we continually seek out clarity in our own learning journey as well.

Have an amazing rest of the summer and an incredible start to the new year.

Here’s my past school year in sky if you fancy having a look.



Recently came across some treasures from my siblings. Love that I’ll forever have their handwriting on these items.

IMG_1904A mixtape from my sister.  The tape must’ve made its way to school a few years ago since that is the only place I have a player but it somehow got stashed in a cabinet and only resurfaced (along with other mixtapes–o joy!) last month whilst I was looking for gold paint. It’s like being back in highschool.

IMG_2011Postmarked in 2004. Actually can’t believe my brother visited the Guggenheim before I did. Finally made it this past summer. Cheeky, but he was right…I did like it. Very much so.


twenty twelve

i often wish life came with a continuous soundtrack. songs playing that become reminders of life lived and life learned with those who happen to share a story.

favourite albums of my year…thanks to old friends, new friends who feel like old friends, and strangers who come alongside. songs.albums.bands forever entwined with twenty twelve.

somewhere sometime soon. xo


i made this for you

A second grader handed me a box the other day. It had SHED written on the side. I reckon it’s more cabin than shed as there are steps leading up to the door and a chimney. I’ve always wanted a fireplace…and perhaps farm animals.  I do like how they’re all gazing in the same direction, enjoying the view beyond the fence.


This is one of the most peculiar gifts I have ever received.