Breathing Space: French Beach -- west coast of Vancouver Island British Columbia

Every summer Ruthie and I go camping for a week and have a wonderful time just being in nature and doing a few things such as:

rock collecting
sending out a message in a bottle
rock art
beach days
sand castles
writing in the sand
wave jumping
ocean swimming

Here are some photos of our Breathing Space week in nature at French Beach, on the west coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia last July 2012. 

 Ruthie took this photo looking up a Douglas Fir tree. Always love adding her photos into this 'Breathing Space' blog. :)
 The trail from out campside down to the beach.

 Wonderful contrast of a leaf floating in a dark stream.

 We could not just sit and be with these rocks. We had to stack them and make art with them!!!

 God always makes the best art and inspires me every time. 

 Huge sea  anenomies (sp?) and barnacles the size of a child's hand - huge! So much richness of sea life on the west coast to see in the tide pools. Hours of looking into these worlds!

 We decied to make a line of rocks from the top of the beach to the shore this day.

 Endless fun by the fire. Especially on the last night when we burned all the remaining fire wood! The park ranger stopped by to make sure "everything was OK". !!! Everything was fine. We just had a super big fire!!!!

My current fav picture of us! We took five pictures to get this. All of the first five, I held the camera and half of my face is cut out of all of them, then Ruthie told me she could do it better and took this one first try!!!
 Beach art, making inukshucks on logs. Little stone status. Can be challenging balancing them!

 Ruthie joined forces with another familiy and made the sand casttle of a a life time. Here she is with the little boy building a barrier to stop the ocean from coming in and destroying their wonderful creation!

 Sand Casttle extravaganza closer up!

 OK, we got a bit obsessed with the rock art! What can I say. I had to make some art that week!!!

 Just in love with how the west coast rainforest meets the beach. So much beauty in the details.

 I love how when yoiu are in nature and camping you don't have to do  anything.  Just be there and the earth, air, water, nature around  you supports you, embraces you, calms you, heals you, gives you exactly what you need just by being there.

 These last two pictures are  from a day trip we took a little further north up the west coast from French beach. It's called Mystic beach and for about a 40 minute hike we got there and enjoyed amazing weather, sand, a rope swing, picnic by the sea and...

this beautiful fresh water waterfall falling straight from above onto the beach and then flowing into the ocean. Yes we stood under it and had a shower! wonderful!

Breathing Space: Goldstream Park on Vancouver Island

These are some snap shots from a family hike we took in August at GoldStream Park located  just outside of Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC. 

Loving the lushness of this forest!

Ruthie leading the way.

Looking up at the trees - thanks for the reminder James! The day seems to always get better when you look up and enjoy the beauty of the trees!

Down the stairs to a surprise below!

A beautiful pool and waterfall awaited us. I went in the pool in the back and swam to the waterfall. I could not belive how wonderfully warm the water was!

Ruthie wading around the dam.

Enjoying the waterfall.

Ruthie on the otherside of the little lake, enjoying nature.

The water was so clear!

Back up the stairs. Good exersice!

Nothing like walking down a forest path.

Until next time Goldenstream. Bless, bless!

Breathing Space: Galiano Island, British Columbia

Every summer my daugther Ruthie, now 9, and I go camping together. I've been making a point to go somwhere new each year so she can begin to see and explore the natural beauty we have around us here in beautiful British Columbia. 

This year for a week in July we chose to camp on Galiano Island in the Gulf Islands of British Columbia where the forest meets the ocean and a small piece of heaven exists. It's a 45 minute ferry ride from Vancouver straight to the island.

Lots of little beaches we found to play and look for marine life especially when the tide was down.

Oh Deer! On a group hike with Ruthie and another camping family we came across this beautifully  made drift wood deer. It's life size and made completely out of found wood on the beach!

The dock near the campground was one of the best places to look for fish, sea stars, sea urchins and all sorts of marine life. They even had a floating nature house with free events for kids on the weekends.

Ruthie outside the Galiano Soap Works Store where we found lots of treasure including nice smelling candles, body oils and -of course- beautiful hand made soaps!

The patio outside the Soapworks store. Just love patios with flowers.

Inside the main 'Market' the one store where you could get groceries on the island. It was so beautifully set up like an art gallery for fruits and vegetables. a joy to peruse.

Ruthie snuggled into the sandstone scupltures at Bell Park on the tip of the Island. So much fun climbing the rocks on the sea shore!

Our home for the week. Camp Deb & Ruthie. Snuggled in the trees with our campfire, clothelines, and tarp kitchen. Don't need much else.

Oddly enough this picture looks like a painting or as though it's been photshopped in some way. Truth is, I don't know how to use photoshop and it has not been altered at all. It was a really brilliant sunset that night and Ruthie and I were on our way to go enjoy it with some friends a Shell Beach - best place on Galiano Island to watch the sun set if you ask me. Anyways, we snapped this picture on our walk there and it had this etheral painterly feel at the time.

Tide up at Shell Beach. So many great memories of sun sets and wading around in the water. Looks tropical with the turquoise water!

Ruthie wading in the cool ocean water with her new little friend in the background.

Walking the peninsula near Montague Harbor campground on my birthday ( July 8th). This has, for the last many years, been my desired way to celebrate my birthday : on a hike in nature. Ruthie was off on a playdate with some new campground friends and I took an hour to just enjoy the trees, the path, the ocean and my own company.

Always have loved the sandstone strata geology in the Gulf Islands.

Breathing Space: Deep Cove

In early June this year it was still raining and cold here in Vancouver but I decided to get out of hte studio and be a tourist in my own town and head over to Deep Cove.

 If any of the scenery looks familiar you may note that this is where Charlie St. Cloud ( a fairly newly released movie) with Zach Efron was filmed when he was sailing in the start of the movie.

 It's very quiet and quaint and sleepy. And I had a nice relaxing walk around the cove.

Foxglove upclose.
In the park at the front and center of the harbor.

Motorbors all lined up (with no place to go?) :)

 I'm always a sucker for a waterfall.

and a forest path...

Always make time to smell the roses. Seriously you gotta do it! 

 I threw a few pennies in the wishing pool and since it came true I'm going to tell you my wish!
 It was for sunshine!!!

 Finished up my walk wtih a cup of tea at the local bakery.

Breathing Space: Whidbey Island

If you follow my blog you'll have read many weeks ago that I skipped out an having an opening at Havana Gallery and opted for a 4 day weekend away with my family on Whidbey Island. Yup, time for some breathing space and re-connecting with nature - and my family! Here are some photos my Dad took during the weekend away. (thanks Dad!)

My little monkey girl hanging around!

4 days of stellar sun drenched crisp winter weather. could not have asked for more.

Looking towards the Olympic Peninsula.

Mt. Baker in full view. Looks like a big ice cream cone!

Bald Eagle.

View as we walked down the beach. Never gets old.

Ruthie inside the fort we made. Super cool fort! Oh yeah!

Mum and I attempting to sleep in while Ruthie was telling us it's playtime. (That's when we went out and made the fort)

Breathing Space...hike at Point Lobos, California

I've been saving this blog post for a while... I figured after The Crawl, I'd probably be going into hiding for a while, which usually means being in nature and not much communication with the outside world and pretty much no computers, internet, facebook, twitter or phones...

So, you won't be seeing much of me unless you're signed up for my our December 11th one day Goal Planning workshop in Dunbar area of Vancouver, BC - then I'll see you then. (inquiries

Here is some outdoor inspiration we enjoyed during our October trip to California for your "breathings space" enjoyment! Pictures are from our hike at Point Lobos State Park.

We enjoyed a beautiful morning hike at Point Lobos and then finished the day off with an awesome lunch in Carmel at "Tommy's Wok" - a must eat chinese food restaurant that is unbelievably great food and excellent prices !!! - and said said hello to Greg's friends Deborah & Kerry Lee and owners of Kerry Lee Remarkable Jewelry of Carmel. Our last stop was at Winfield Gallery where we spoke with gallery owner Chris Winfield and I fell in love with encaustic artist Tracy Adams...(Made the big splurge and bought Tracy's retrospective full colour brochure "Mindful Inversions" - AWESOME!!!) (!!!)

Getting the pack organized (or something!)

We could hear sea lions barking from the shore!
Interesting red iron oxide coloured fungus growing on these trees.

Nature wins every time for best art!

Beautiful bay!

This bay is renown for whalers and even had a little museum with lots of information about whaling.

This is from inside the whaler's museum.

Breathing Space

Since I moved back to Vancouver I've been making a weekly 'pilgrimage' to the Pacific Spirit Park, this place is my breathing space. My re-set, rejuvination, a time when I let mother nature take care of me. Yes, I miss those nice warm beach walks in Santa Barbara, CA, but the forest here is rich and lush and beautiful and restorative and I'm grateful for that.